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The Cambridge History 
of English Literature 

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." VIIL 
" IX. 

"" X. 

"' XII. 
" XIV. 

lrom the 
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Noah   Dm 
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om Steele ad 
The se 
s Circle. 
The Earl Gra Age. 
The Nieeth Cet, Part 
The Nineteenth ntu, 
The Neteeth Cetu, Part Ill. 

Send/or rmmplete descriptive circular 

Ne'w 'orl London 









English Literature 

Edited by 
A. W. Ward, Litt.D., F.B.A. 

Master of Peterhouse 

A. R. Waller, M.A. 


Volume III 
Renascence andReformation 

New York- G. P. Putnam's Sons 
Cambridge, England" University Press 


1 ! 1883 


HE three volumes of The Cambridge History o English 
Literature which are to folloxv the present will consist 
of two concerned xvith the history of dramatic writing 
in England to the middle, or thereabouts, of the seventeenth 
century, preceded by one dealing with poetry and prose 
other than dramatic to the end, approximately, of the first 
quarter of the seventeenth century. We find that it will be 
more convenient to publish the volume concerned with Eliza- 
bethan and Jacobean prose and poetry from Sir Thomas 
North to Michael Drayton so soon as may be after that now 
issued, with which it immediately associates itself, rather 
than to defer it until after the issue of the two drama volumes. 
These last, in a sense, will be complete in themselves, and we 
hope to publish them without loss of time. 
We have not cared to draw a hard and fast line between 
the contents of Volumes III and IV; the two should be taken 
together as covering the sixteenth century and the early 
decades of the seventeenth, apart from the drama. 
The process of compression has had to be applied more 
severely than we might have wished; but, in accordance with 
the intentions expressed in the preface to Volume I, xve have 
not scrupled to devote less space to well known writers, in 
order to treat at greater length subjects concerning xvhich 
difficulty may be experienced in obtaining assistance else- 
where; neither have we hesitated to limit the space devoted 
to generalisation rather than restrict unduly that required 
for bibliographies. 
We cannot deny ourselves the pleasure of acknowledging 
the continued assistance received from scholars engaged in the 
teaching of English literature at home and abroad, on both 
sides of the Atlantic. And especially welcome has been the 
evidence of their kindly-expressed appreciation of our aims 

x Contents 

century. Edinburgh University, Trinity College, Dublia, and 
Gresham College. English schools under Elizabeth. The school 
curriculum. John Cheke. Thomas Wilson. The Are of Rhe- 
torique. Roger Ascham. Richard Mulcater. II Cortegano of 
Castiglione . 





By J. W. H. ATKINS. 

Fifteenth century changes in vocabulary. Elizabethan English. 
Growing importance of the vernacular. Conservatism and re- 
form. Classical influence. Influence of Romance languages. 
Literary influence on the vocabulary. Results of loss of inflections. 
Influences on Elizabethan idiom. Elizabethan pronunciation. 
Elizabethan English as a literary medium. Its musical resources. 
Elizabethan and modern English 


Table of Principal Dates 
Index . 

53 t 

The Cambridge History of 
English Literature 


Englishmen and the Classical Renascence 

HE classical renascence implied a knowledge and imita- 
tion of the great literary artists of the golden past of 
classical antiquity, and, as a preliminary, a competent 
acquaintance with, and some power to use, the Latin and 
Greek languages. Italy gave it birth and it gradually spread 
beyond the Alps into Germany, France and England. In the 
end it created, almost imperceptibly, a cosmopolitan republic 
of which Guillaume Budfi and Erasmus disputed the sover- 
eignty, and where, latterly, Erasmus, by universal consent, 
ruled as chief. This republic established itself in a Europe 
almost savage, supremely warlike and comparatively un- 
taught-in it and yet not of it. Its citizens were a select 
people who lived and worked in the midst of the tumult of 
arms, the conflict of politics and the war of creeds which 
went on around them. It spread widely and silently until it 
almost became the mark of a well-educated person to be aMe 
to read, write and converse fluently in Latin, and to know 
something of Greek. It refused to admit the limitations of sex. 
The learned lady (crudita) of the Colloquia of Erasmus easily 
discomfits the pretentious abbot. The prince of humanists 
himself, in no spirit of condescension, corresponded with the 
sisters of Pirkheimer and the daughters of More. At the cele- 
brated reunions of Marguerite d'AngoulSme, which were anti- 
cipations of the eighteenth century salon, Latin, Greek and e-en 
Hebrew were continually used. Her niece and grand-nieces 
were trained in the humanities. Mary of Scotland read 
Latin authors with George Buchanan. In England, well- 
born young ladies, towards the close of queen Mary's reign, 
were accomplished cholars. Elizabeth herself overwhelmed 

2 Englishmen and the Classical Renascence 

luckless ambassadors with floods of improvised Latinity. 
" But this queen is extremely wise and has eyes that can 
flame," wrote one who had, with difficulty, saved himself 
from the deluge. 
The enthusiasts of the classical renascence, who had spent 
time and pains in mastering the secrets of style of the literary 
artists of antiquity, were somewhat disdainful of their mother 
tongues. They were inclined to believe that cultured thought 
could only find fit expression in the apt words, deft phrases and 
rhythmical cadences, of the revived language of ancient Rome. 
They preferred to write in Latin, and the use of the common 
speech of their cosmopolitan republic gave them an audience 
in all parts of educated Europe. Nevertheless, the classical 
renascence had a powerful effect in moulding the literary 
languages of modern Europe and in enriching them with graces 
of style and expression. Its influence was so pervading and 
impalpable that it worked like leaven, almost imperceptibly, 
yet really and potently. 
The classical renascence recognised no one land in Europe 
as its own; it possessed all and belonged to all. Yet it is 
possible to describe its progress in Italy, Germany, France and 
even Spain, without introducing alien names. England is an 
exception. Erasmus belongs as much to the history of the 
classical renascence in our land as does Linacre, Colet, or itIore. 
The country received him when his fortunes were at a low ebb. 
He was about 33 years of age. The torments and temptations 
of Hertogenbosch, the midnight labours of Stein, the horrors of 
the Collbge Montaigu and the penury of Paris had left their 
marks on his frail body. He had produced little or nothing. 
He was almost unknown and he had no sure prospects in life. 
In England he found friends, who gladly gave him hospitable 
welcome, whose cultured leisure enabled them to appreciate his 
learning, his humour, his untiring capacity for work and his 
ceaseless activity of mind. No wonder that the fortune-tossed 
wanderer was glad to fancy himself an Englishman and de- 
lighted in the men and women, the manners, the scholarship, 
even in the climate, of his new home---in everything English, 
in fact, save the beer and the draughty rooms. 
He came, too, at the moment most fitting to make an im- 
oression. Scholasticism still reigned ; but there were signs that 

Erasmus's First Visit to England 

its authority was waning. The honoured friend of English 
leading scholars, sought after by the educational reformer of 
one of its great universities, patronised by its archbishop, 
complimented by its young and popular king, Erasmus could 
not fail to make a deep impression on the country at a peculiarly 
impressionable time---an impression all the stronger because 
he appealed to the practical side of the English people in rt 
way more directly than did any other humanist. They saw in 
him not a great classical specialist, but one who gathered the 
wisdom of the past to enrich and enlighten the present. 
Erasmus visited England for the first time in the summer of 
x499- He came in the company of young William Blount, 
lord Mountjoy, who had been one of his pupils in Paris. He 
seems to have resided, for a while, in London with Sir William 
Say, his pupil's father-in-law; then, at a country-house be- 
longing to lord Mountjoy at Greenwich. }Ie spent about two 
months at Oxford in the college of St. Mar3", an establishment 
for students of the Augustinian order presided over by prior 
Richard Charnock. He was back in London in the beginning 
of December; and, after a round-about journey by Dover, Calais 
and Tournehem, he arrived in Paris sometime about the end of 
January, x5oo. His visit had been short, lasting about six 
months, just long enough to make him acquainted with the 
most prominent scholars in England; and his correspondence 
enables us to judge of the progress which the classical renas- 
cence had made there. 
In a letter to Robert Fisher, "the k3"ng's solicitor at Rome," 
he instances four scholars whom he cannot praise too highly-- 
John Colet, William Grocyn, Thomas Linacre and Thomas 
More. These men had learning neither hackneyed nor trivial, 
but deep, accurate, ancient Latin and Greek. 

When I hear my Colet, I seem to be listening to Plato himself. 
In Grocyn, who does not marvel at such a perfect round of learning? 
What can be more acute, profound and delicate than the judgment 
of Linacre? What has nature ever created more gentle, more 
sweet, more happy than the genius of Thomas More? I need not 
go through the list. It is marvellous how general and abundant is 
the harvest of ancient learning in this country, t 

The Epistles o Erasmus, P. M. Nichols, igoi , vol. I, p. 226, Ep. iio. 

4 Englishmen and the Classical Renascence 

The letters of Erasmus are, as a rule, more rhetorical than 
matter-of-fact ; but, in this case, he seems to have been perfectly 
sincere. He believed that England was a specially favoured 
land, and that the classical renascence had made progress there 
in an exceptional way. Six years later, during his second visit, 
which lasted about fourteen months and was spent, for the 
most part, in London, he assured Servatius, the prior of the 
convent to which he was still nominally attached, that he had 
had intimate converse with five or six men in London who were 
as accurate scholars in Latin and Greek as Italy itself then 
i,ossessed. His sincerity becomes manifest when it is remem- 
bered that these English scholars influenced his life as none of 
his innumerable acquaintances was able to do. At his first 
visit he knew very little Greek. Their example and exhorta- 
tions compelled him to study that language as soon as he 
returned to Paris. His pupil, lord Mountjoy, suggested to him 
his first book, Adagia; and prior Charnock encouraged him to 
undertake the task. It is scarcely too much to say that his 
first visit to England was the turning point in the career of 
Erasmus. Apart from it, he might have written Adagia, Col- 
loquia, Copia, Encomium Moriae, but not ,Voz, um Istrumentum 
with the Paraphrases, Etchiridion Militis Christiati, Itstitutio 
Priwipis Christiai, nor his editions and commentaries on such 
early Fathers as Jerome and Chrysostom. He met men who, 
so far as the humanities were concerned, were riper scholars 
than himself and ho, at the same time, were animated by 
lofty Christian aspirations; from them, Erasmus learnt to be a 
Christian humanist, with a real desire to see a reformation in 
life and morals in the church and in society, and a perception 
of the way in which the classical renascence might be made 
serviceable to that end. 
Erasmus had never cared much for theology, although he 
had studied it in a somewhat perfunctory manner in order to 
qualify himself for the much esteemed degree of doctor of 
divinity. He had called himself vetus theologus, which meant 
one who accepted the teaching of Aquinas and cared little for 
the novelties introduced by John Duns Scotus. He had 
jeered at the Scotist theologians of the Sorbonne "biting their 
nails and making all sorts of discoveries about instances and 
quiddities and ]ormalities" and falling asleep at their task. 

William Grocyn. William Latimer 

William Grocyn was early distinguished by his -knowledge of 
Greek and taught that language at Oxford before 488. It is 
likely that he, as vell as Linacre, owed his knowledge of Greek 
to Cornelio Vitelli. He followed Linacre to Italy, studied, like 
him, under Poliziano and Chalcondylas at Florence and, like 
him, made the acquaintance of the great Venetian printer. On 
his return to England, he taught Greek at Oxford, and his 
daily lectures were attended by the chief scholars of the time. 
Unlike most of the Italian humanists who were his contempor- 
aries, Grocyn thought little of Plato and much of Aristotle. 
Yet he lectured on Pseudo-Dionysius at Oxford and for some 
time believed him to have been the convert of St. Paul, but 
soon became convinced, either by independent study or by 
the criticism of Laurentius Valla, that the Celestial Hierarchy 
belonged to a much later age. He introduced Colet to the 
writings of Dionysius and also proved to him that the author 
could not have been the Areopagite. Grocyn resembled in 
many ways some of the older German humanists, who were 
content to spend their time in study and in directing and 
encouraging the work of younger scholars, without contributing 
to the store of learning by books of their own making. 
With Grocyn and Linacre must be classed William Latimer, 
who had a great reputation for learning among his contempor- 
aries, English and continental. He had spent many years in 
Italy in acquiring a knoxvledge of the humanities, and his 
knowledge of Greek was highly esteemed by Erasmus. He 
was selected to be the tutor of young Reginald Pole, the future 
cardinal, whose scholarship, doubtless, xvas due to his early 
preceptor. The reasons he gave to Erasmus for refusing to act 
as teacher to John Fisher, bishop of Rochester, show the scorn 
of a scholar for the man who was content with a smatter- 
ing of such a language as Greek and the preference of the 
humanist for classical Greek as compared with that of the 
New Testament. 
Richard Pace and Cuthbert Tunstall are also to be classed 
among the English contemporaries of Erasmus who went to 
Italy to absorb the spirit of humanism in its peculiar home. 
The former studied at Padua, Ferrara and Bologna; the latter 
at Padua, where he made the acquaintance of Jerome 
Busleiden (Buslidianus), a scholar from the Netherlands and 

John Colet, Dean of St. Paul's 

be of earlier date than the sixth century, he still held that, 
through them, he could recover a theology such as it had been 
before being subjected to the domination of the schoolmen. 
They led him to two things he was very willing to learn: that 
the human mind, however it may feel after, and apprehend, 
God, can never imprison His character and attributes in 
propositions--stereotyped aspects of thought--which can be 
fitted into syllogisms and built up into a compact and rigidly 
harmonious structure; and, also, that such things as hierarchy 
and sacraments are not to be prized because they are in them- 
selves the active sources and centres of mysterious povers, but 
because they faintly symbolise the spiritual forces through 
which God works silently for the salvation of His people. 
If the stress Colet laid on the worth of the individual soul, 
and his dislike of the puerilities and intricate definitions of 
medieval theolog3", were characteristic of the spirit of his age, 
striving to escape from the thickets of medieval thought and 
reach the open countl-y, the lectures he delivered in Oxford 
after his return from Italy showed that he was strikingly 
original and in advance of his time in seeing how to apply 
classical learning to the requirements of Christian thought. 
His method of exposition, familiar enough after Calvin had 
introduced it in the reformed church, was then absolutely new. 
He discarded completely the idea, as old as Origen, indeed older, 
that the Scriptures may be understood in a variety of senses, 
and that the simple historical sense is the least valuable. He 
insisted on the unity of the meaning of Scripture, and that the 
one meaning was the plain historical sense of the words. An 
intimate acquaintance with the methods of exegesis common 
in the medieval church is necessar3" to enable us to under- 
stand not merely the originality but the daring involved in the 
thought and practice. Colet, however, went further. He 
believed that the aim of a true interpretation of Scripture was 
to discover the personal message which the individual writer 
meant to give ; and this led him, in his lectures on the Epistle to 
tlw Romans, to seek for every trace which revealed the per- 
sonality of St. Paul. It was equally imperative, he believed, 
to know what were the surroundings of the men to whom the 
letter was addressed. This led him to study in Suetonius and 
other historians the conditions of the Roman populace during 

Englishmen and the Classical Renascence 

the first century. Colet was the first to introduce the historical 
method of interpreting Scripture, and, as such, was far in 
advance not merely of his own time but of many a succeeding 
generation. It is not surprising that his lectures were thronged 
by Oxford scholars and that the audience included such per- 
sonages as Richard Charnock and Erasmus. They revealed a 
new world to men who had been accustomed to believe that the 
only method of interpreting Scripture was to string together 
quotations, appropriate and inappropriate, from the lathers. 
Scholars like Cornelius Agrippa studied theology under the 
lecturer, and Erasmus wished to take part in his researches. 
Colet continued his lectures at Oxford on the New Testa- 
ment during six successive ?'ears. When he became dean of 
St. Paul's, he was accustomed to preach courses of sermons 
which are said to have resembled his Oxford lectures and drew 
crowds of listeners to his church. A Exposilio1 of St. Paul's 
Episllc to the Romans and A Exposilio of St. Paul's First 
Epistle to the Cori,lhians,  enable us to understand somewhat 
of Colet's lectures. Their merits must be judged by compar- 
ing them with contemporar3  attempts at exegesis. 
Colet is now best remembered by his educational work. He 
resolved to set apart a large portion of his great private fortune 
to endow a school where boys could enjoy the privilege of an 
education in Latin and Greek. The buildings were erected 
on a site at the eastern end of St. Paul's churchyard, and con- 
sisted of a schoolhouse, a large school-room and houses for 
txvo masters. An estate in Buckinghamshire was transferred 
to the Mercers' company to provide for the salaries of the teach- 
ers. Other property was afteravards given to provide the 
salary of a chaplain to teach the boys divinity and for other 
school purposes. Colet's letters to Erasmus show how absorbed 
he xvas with his project and what pains he took to see that his 
ideals were carried out. He asked Linacre to write a Latin 
grammar for use in his school ; but, not being satisfied with the 
book, he himself wrote a short accidence in English, and 
William Lily furnished a brief Latin syntax with the rules 
in the vernacular. This syntax was afteravards enlarged or 
rewritten at Colet's request and, in this form, was revised by 
' Edited by J. H. Lupton from ISS. in the Cambridge University Library 
(Latin text and English translation). 

Englishrnen and the Classical Renascence 

famous journey to the shrine of Thomas  Becket at Canter- 
bury which is recorded in Peregrinatio Religionis ergo. " Vicle- 
vita quispiam opinor," was the remark made by the hearer 
when Colet's behaviour was described. He omitted the usual 
reference to the Blessed Virgin and the saints in his last will, 
and left no money to be expended on masses for the benefit 
of his soul. He delighted in the Novum Instrumentum of 
Erasmus, and would not have transmitted to him the criticisms 
and cautions which More thought proper to send. He was 
among the earliest Englishmen of his generation to believe that 
the Bible in the vernacular ought to be in the hands of the 
people, and he would not have indulged in the disparagement 
and angry comment with which More greeted the remarkably 
accurate translation of the New Testament by William Tindale. 
His refusal to permit ecclesiastical control over his school is 
very significant, and suggests that he shared the opinion which 
Cranmer came to hold, that the transference of power from the 
clergy to the laity was the only guarantee for a reformation of 
the evils he clearly saw infesting the church and society. He 
was passionately convinced of the degradation of the church 
of his day, and believed that, in order to effect its cure, Christ- 
ians must revert to the thoughts and usages of primitive 
Christian society. It is scarcely too much to say that the 
process of the English reformation down to the publication of 
the Ten Articles and the Bishop's Book to a very large extent 
embodied the ideas of the dean of St. Paul's. 
His correspondence with Erasmus shows what time and 
thought Colet spent on the selection of the first teachers in his 
school. He finally made choice of William Lily, "the gram- 
marian," for head-master, and John RitTse (Rightwise) for 
sur-master. Lily ranked with Grocyn and Linacre as one of 
the most erudite students of Greek that England possessed. 
After graduating in arts at Oxford, he went on a pilgrimage to 
Jerusalem, spent some time with the Knights of St. John at 
Rhodes, and returning home by Italy studied there under 
Sulpitius and Pomponius Laeto. He became an intimate 
friend of Thomas More, and, in conjunction with him, published 
Progymnsmata, a series of translations from the Greek antho- 
logy" into Latin elegiacs. For many generations the masters 
in St. Paul's school maintained its reputation as the home of 

John Fisher 

classical learning. It became the Deventer or Schlettstadt of 
John Fisher, bishop of Rochester (5o4), deserves a place 
among those scholars who belonged to the close of the reign of 
Henry VII, more from his sympathy with learning and his 
successful efforts to revive the intellectual activity of Cam- 
bridge university than from his actual attainments in scholar- 
ship. He was a Cambridge student, who graduated in 487, 
and, by a singularly rapid promotion, became master of 
Michael house in 497, and, in the end, chancellor of the uni- 
versity ( 504, and elected for life in  5  4). He early attracted 
the attention of Lady Margaret Tudor, countess of Richmond 
and mother of Henry VII, and became her confessor. He was 
the first holder of the Lady Margaret professorship of divinity 
(x 5o_) founded by that lady to provide gratuitous instruction 
in theology. He was also employed by her to establish in the 
university her endowment for a preacher in the vernacular. 
Such preaching had almost died out both in England and on 
the continent of Europe, and the Lady Margaret foundation 
attempted to do what was being done all over Germany by 
endowments such as that of Peter Schott of Strassburg, which 
found a place for the celebrated John Geiler von Kaisersberg. 
Fisher was a patron, not a very highly appreciated one, of 
Erasmus. He was mainly instrumental, it is said, in procuring 
for him facilities for taking a divinity degree in Cambridge-- 
facilities of which no use was made. On the accession of 
Henry VIII, lord Mountjoy, or Andreas Ammonius for him, 
wrote an extravagant letter to his old preceptor, telling him 
of the accession of a humanist prince and assuring him that 
Henry would make his fortune. The heavens were laughing, 
the earth exulting, all things full of milk, of honey and of nec- 
tar. Henry had assured the writer that he would foster and 
encourage learned men, without whom the rest of mankind 
would scarcely exist at all. "Make up your mind that the last 
day of your wretchedness has dawned. You will come to a 
prince, who will say, 'Accept our wealth and be our greatest 
sage.' " Poor Erasmus hurried from Italy to find the king 
quite indifferent to his needs. It was then that Fisher, eager to 
promote learning in his university, induced the great humanist 
to lecture on Greek in Cambridge from August, 151 I, to January, 

i6 Englishmen and the Classical Renascence 

I 5 I 4- He used, first of all, the grammar of Chrysoloras and, 
later, that of Theodorus Gaza. He does not seem to have 
enjoyed his residence much and his letters are full of complaints 
about the scanty remuneration he received. He saw before him 
"the footprints of Christian poverty" and believed that he 
would require to pay out a great deal more than he received. 
The university authorities, on the other hand, asked lord Mount- 
joy to assist them in paying the huge salarb- (imnwnsum slipen- 
dium) they had promised their lecturer. Fisher verb" properly 
refused to make any advances from the money given him for 
the foundation of Christ's College, and sent him a private 
donation. The complaints of Erasmus must not be taken too 
seriously. His keen intelligence xvas enclosed in a sickly body 
whose frailty made continuous demands on the soul it impris- 
oned. It needed warm rooms free from draughts, stoves that 
sent forth no smell, an easy-going horse and a deft servant; and, 
to procure all these comforts, Erasmus wrote the daintiest of 
begging letters. We have but little certain information about 
the results of his work at Cambridge, but it must have been 
effective. He vas a notable teacher, and Colet wished often 
that he could secure him for his school. He was at the univer- 
sity at the verb" time when it was in the act of changing from a 
medieval to a modern seat of learning; and Fisher congratu- 
lated himself on having induced the great scholar to remain a 
long time among its students. 
Fisher's own writings were almost all controversial. He 
was the determined enemy of the Lutheran reformation, and 
the nature of his books is recognisable from their titles: Con- 
futatio Asscrtionis Luthcrame; De Eucharistia contra Johannem 
Occolampadium libri quinque; Sacri Sacerdotii Defensio contra 
Luthcrum; a defence of Hern- VIII's Assertio septem Sacra- 
mcntorum; and so forth. Fisher maintained his opinions 
loyally to the end. He resisted to the utmost of his ability 
Henry's claim to be considered the head of the church of Eng- 
land, and he refused to declare his belief in the invalidity 
of the marriage of Catharine of Aragon with the king. This 
resistance cost him his life. He was beheaded 2_0June, i535. 
Sir Thomas More, the associate with Fisher in his tragic 

' Of the place of Fisher's work in the history, of English oratorical prose, 
see the later section on the work of divines in Vol. IV of the present work. 

i8 Englishmen and the Classical Renascence 

svear to maintain the act. More declared repeatedly that he 
accepted the act, but the oath which was afterwards prescribed 
xvent beyond the contents of the act and required a declaration 
about papal authority within the realm. This, More steadfastly 
refused to make. He was confined in the Tower in circum- 
stances of great hardship, and, in the end, was condemned to 
suffer death under act 26 Henry VIII, co. i and 13. The bar- 
barous punishment devised for traitors was commuted by 
the king to beheading. More suffered on 6 July, i535. His 
execution, a judicial murder, and that of the bishop of Roches- 
ter, filled the world with horror. An interesting proof of the 
wide-spread character of this indignation has been furnished 
by the recently published (December, i9o6) process against 
George Buchanan before the Lisbon inquisition. The humanist 
confessed to the inquisitors that he had written his celebrated 
tragedy, Baplisles--a work translated into English, French, 
Dutch and German--with his eye fixed on the tyranny of 
Henry displayed in the trial and execution of Thomas More. 
More was a voluminous writer both in Latin and in English. 
His fame rests chiefly on his Latin epigrams and Utopia; but 
his other work requires to be mentioned. 
His verses, English and Latin, are, for the most part, medio- 
cre, but contain some pieces of great merit. They are interest- 
ing because they reveal the character of the man, at once grave 
and gay, equally inclined to worldly pleasure and ascetic 
austerity; and they are not free from that trait of whimsical 
pedantry which belonged to More all through his life, and 
which displayed itself when, being in love with the younger 
sister, he resolved to marry the elder because it was meet that 
she should be the first settled in life. He wrote of Venus and 
Cupid, of a soldier who wished to play the monk, of eternity, 
of fortune, its favours and its reverses, and a Rue]ul Lamentation 
on the death of Elizabeth, the queen of Henry VII. Many 
of his epigrams are full of sadness, of an uncertain fear of the 
future. They describe life as a path leading to death. They 
reveal a man who had seen and felt much suffering and who 
brooded over the uncertainties of life. They seem to anticipate 
the fate of one who fell almost at once from the throne of the 
lord chancellor into a cell in the Tower. His translation into 
English of the LiJe of John Picus, Erle of Myrautula, a greate 

Sir Thomas More 

Lorde of Italy, is an autobiography of ideals if not of facts. 
The young gifted Italian humanist, who was transformed by 
contact with Savonarola, with his refined culture, his longing 
for a monastic career, his deliberate choice of a lay life and his 
secret austerities, was repeated in his English admirer, who 
xvore, almost continuously, a "sharp shirt of hair," who watched 
and fasted often, who slept frequently, "either on the bare 
ground, or on some bench, or laid some log under his head." 
More's other prose writings, 1 with the exception of Utopia, 
are controversial and devotional. The controversial include, 
besides those in Latin, The Dialogue, The Supplication of 
Souls, 2 A Confutation of Tbutale's Answer, A Letter against 
Frith, The Apology, The Debcllacyon of Salem and Bizance and 
an Answer to the" Supper of the Lord." They form about three- 
fourths of the whole and deserve more consideration than they 
usually receive. They are by no means free from the scurrility 
which was characteristic of that age of controversy. His 
opponents are "swine," "hell-hounds that the devil hath in his 
kennel," "apes that dance for the pleasure of Lucifer," and so 
on. These writings are unusually prolix, but they show that the 
author was well read in theology and they manifest a great 
acquaintance with Scripture. More was no curialist or ultra- 
montane, to use the modern word; but he was a man who felt 
the need of an external spiritual authority and clung to it. 
While Colet lived, he was More's director; during occasional 
absences, Grocyn supplied his place; after Colet's death, he 
felt increasingly the need for something external to rest on, and 
the thought of a historical church, which he defined to be "all 
Christian people," was necessary to sustain his faith. The 
style in all these English writings, their carefully constructed 
balanced sentences with modulated cadences, exhibi the 
scholar and the imitator of the Latin classics. 
Utopia, the one work by More which still lives in all the 
freshness of youth, was written in Latin. The author was 
diffident about it. He showed the manuscript to friends, 
especially to Erasmus, and they were enthusiastic. The grea 
lrench humanist 13ud wrote the preface; Erasmus and Peter 
Giles (Aegidius) superintended the printing; the book took 
' For the History o King Richard III attributed to him, see post, Chap. xv. 
* See post, Chap. iv. 

2o Englishmen and the Classical Renascence 

the learned world of Europe by storm in somewhat the same 
xvay as did Ioriae Encomium; and the author was at once 
hailed as a member of the wide republic of letters. It was 
translated into most European languages; nev editions appear 
continually; and it has become one of the world's classics. It 
may have been suggested by Plato's Republic--the names 
it contains are Greek--but the books have little in common. It 
borrows something from Augustine's De Civitate Dei, a favourite 
of the author. Yet the book is thoroughly original. The 
ground-plan had been suggested by the account of the voyages 
of Amcrico Vespucci; the sight of the wide, clean, well-paved 
streets of the towns in the Netherlands, refreshing after the 
crowded, narroxv, filthy thoroughfares of London, the extent 
of garden ground within the walls of Bruges and Antwerp, 
suggested the "commodious and handsome" streets and the 
gardens" with all manner of fruit, herbs and flowers" of the city 
of Amaurote. The economic distress through which England 
was passing, the increase of sheep and the decay of agriculture, 
the destruction of farm steadings and of country towns, are all 
apparent in the book, and have produced many of its sugges- 
tions. The detestation of war shared by Colet, Erasmus and 
most of the humanists found utterance in the toleration of all 
religions and in conscription for agriculture but not for war. 
It is possible that Colet's well-known opinions about priesthocd 
appear in exaggerated form in Utopia. The book is full of 
allusions to the circumstances of the time during which the 
author lived; but critics are scarcely warranted in concluding, 
as many of them do, that they can find his practical remedies 
for the disorders of the age in the laws and usages of the 
imaginary state. 
More lived long enough to see the maxims of Utopia applied 
in a way which must have horrified him, and which probably 
gave their sharp edge to his denunciations of the Peasants' war. 
He did not dream that, ten years after the publication of the 
book, and ten years before his own death, his Utopia would 
furnish texts for excited agitators on village greens or in the 
public-houses of German towns. But so it was. The Moriae 
Encomium of Erasmus and More's Utopia were made full use 
of in the future "tumult" which they both dreaded. 
It is not easy to say what influence this group of English 

The Spread of the Classical Renascence 

humanists had in making the study of classical learning take 
root in their native land. Fisher's position as chancellor of 
the university secured the continuous study of Greek at Cam- 
bridge, and More is our authority for saying that its popularity 
there was so great that scholars vho did not share the teaching 
were ready to contribute to the support of the teacher. At 
Oxford, the struggle, evidently, was harder. Greek vas 
denounced by obscurantist churchmen, and it was Sir Thomas 
More's task, while he was a power at court, to protect and en- 
courage both lecturers and scholars. It may safely be said, 
however, that the example and writings of Erasmus vere the 
most powerful stimulus to the desire to know something 
about, and to share in the revival of, classical learning. 
Among the MSS. preserved in the library of Corpus Christi 
College, Oxford, there is the ledger or day-book of an Oxford 
bookseller which records the books he sold during the year 1520. 
It gives us some indication of the reading of the period in a 
university city and enables us to see how far the classical re- 
nascence had become popular. John Dome sold 2383 books 
during that year--some English, most of them Latin, one or 
two Greek. The English books were, for the most part, al- 
manacs, ballads, Christmas carols, popular Lives of Saints and 
medieval romances, three copies of a book on cooking, three 
of one on carving, one on table etiquette, one on husbandry 
and three on the care of horses. One is a translation of 
Vergil into English--probably Caxton's Aeneid (Westminster, 
Among the Latin books are breviaries, missals, portiforiums, 
a very large number of grammars and a few lexicons. A large 
part of the more important books represent the learning of the 
past, the scholastic theologs" and philosophy not yet displaced, 
and, as was to be expected, the Scotist greatly outnumber the 
Thomist theologians--John Duns Scotus himself being repre- 
sented by twenty, and Thomas Aquinas and Augustine by four 
each. But the humanities, in the shape of Latin authors and 
Latin translations of Greek writers, are not much behind. 
Dome sold that year thirty-seven copies of various works of 
Cicero, the same number of Terence, thirty of Aristotle, twenty- 
nine of Vergil, twenty-three of Ovid, fourteen of Lucan, twelve 
of Aristophanes (one being in Greek), nine of Lucian (one in 

22 Englishmen and the Classical Renascence 

Greek), eight of Horace, six of Sallust, eight of Pliny, three of 
Aulus Gellius and one of Tacitus and of Persius. 
The names of the English humanists are only represented by 
one copy of Linacre's translation of Galen, and three of More's 
Latin letters to Edward Lee. The name of Lupset occurs, but 
only to record that that scholar took away a book without pay- 
ing for it. The Italian teachers of these Englishmen appear 
on the list of sales--twenty-nine copies of various works of 
Sulpitius, twenty-two of Laurentius Valla and three of Angelo 
Poliziano. Bud6, the greatest French humanist, is not repre- 
sented, but Dorne sold thirty-three copies of works written or 
edited by his comrade, Jacques Lefvre d']taples. 
The outstanding feature of this list of sales of books, how- 
ever, is the place occupied by the writings of Erasmus. One- 
ninth of the whole sales were of books written or edited by him. 
If the snaall primers, almanacs, ballads and so on and the 
grammars written by two popular Oxford grammar-school 
teachers be excluded, one customer out of every seven came 
to buy a book written by the great humanist. It is instructive, 
also, to notice what books of his command the largest sale. 
These are Colloqztia, De Constrztctione, CoIffa, Enchiridion 
Militis Christiani and Adagia. The popularity of three of 
these writings occasions no surprise and conveys no informa- 
tion. The book entitled Adagia was a compendium of the wit 
and wisdom of antiquity, a collection of Greek and Latin pro- 
verbs which were made the text of short essays sparkling with 
the author's inimitable burnout. Almost every one in that age 
wished to know something of ancient learning, and it was in 
this book served up to them in a way which made them feel 
able to comprehend it. Colloqztia had grown gradually from 
being a collection of conversations on familiar subjects fitted 
for beginners in Latin until it had become a series of charming 
pictures of all sorts and conditions of men. It was the most 
popular book of the century and went through ninety-nine 
editions before i546. It circulated ever3'here. Enchiridion 
taught a simple piety of the heart and contained a calm and 
consistent appeal to the central standard of all Christian 
behaviourthe teaching and example of Jesus Christ. It was 
translated into English in 15 i8, into Czech in  5 9, into Ger- 
man in 1524 and into Spanish in 1527- Seventy-five editions 

Sir Thomas Elyot 

had been published before 545- But De Constructione and 
Copia were books of an entirely different kind and appealed 
to a more limited class of readers. They were really text-books 
for advanced Latin students who wished to acquire a good 
style. In them the great literary artist disclosed the secrets 
of his art. The sale of many copies means the existence of 
circles of students, for, in those days, one book served many 
readers, who were trying to perfect themselves in the humani- 
ties, who xvere looking to Erasmus as their great teacher and 
who were taking pains to fashion themselves after his example. 
It shows the spread of the classical renascence among the 
students of England. 
We do not find in England the extravagant adulation of the 
great Dutchman which meets us everywhere in Germany. 
There, he vas the idol of every young scholar. They said that 
he was more than mortal, that his judgment was infallible 
and that his work was perfect. They made pilgrimages to 
visit him as to the shrine of a saint. An interview was an 
event to be talked about for years, and a letter from him was a 
precious treasure to be preserved as an heirloom. In England, 
they seized on one side of his work which specially appealed 
to their practical instincts, and tried to imitate it in their own 

Among those who, following Erasmus, strove to make use of 
the writings of antiquity for the instruction and edification of 
their contemporaries were Sir Elyot and Thomas 
Wilson. The former is best known by his treatise, The Boke 
named the Governour, and the latter by his Arte of Rhetorique. 
Elyot had no university training. He was educated at 
home and, at a comparatively early age, had acquired a good 
knovledge of Latin, Greek and Italian. He says that, before 
he was twenty, he had read Galen and other medical writings 
with a "worshipful physician," conjectured to have been 
His earliest work, The Boke of the Governour, the best known 
of his vritings, made him famous and probably proved his 
introduction to the career as a diplomatic agent in which he 
spent the greater par of his life. It is a lengthy and exhaust- 
ive treatise on the education which those who are destined to 

24 Englishmen and the Classical Renascence 

govern ought to receive. It begins with a discussion of the 
various kinds of commonwealths, and sets forth the advantages 
of monarch3, aristocracy and democracy. The author decides 
that monarchy is the best form of government; but it demands 
the appointment of subordinate rulers over the various parts 
of the kingdom who are to be the eyes, ears, hands and legs 
of the supreme ruler. They ought to be taken from the 
"estate called worshipful," provided they have sufficient virtue 
and knowledge, but they must be carefully educated. It is 
the more necessary to insist upon this as education is not valued 
as it ought to be. Pride looks upon learning as a "notable 
reproach to a great gentleman," and lords are apt to ask the 
price of tutors as they demand the qualification of cooks. 
The author then proceeds to map out vhat goes to make the 
thorough education of a gentleman fit to rule. He begins with 
his birth. Up to the age of seven, the child is to be under the 
charge of a nurse or governess. He is then to be handed 
over to a tutor or carefully selected master, and taught music 
and its uses, painting and carving, and is to be instructed in 
letters from such books as Aesop's Fables, "quick and merrie 
dialogues" like those of Lucian, or the heroic poems of Homer. 
When he attains the age of fourteen he is to be taught logic, 
cosmography and "histories," and, although "this age be not 
equal to antiquity" (the classics), he is, nevertheless, to make 
a beginning therein. His bodily frame is to be exercised in 
wrestling, hunting, swimming and, above all, in dancing, which 
profits much for the acquirement of moral virtues. Shooting 
with the crossbow is also to be practised and tennis, if not in- 
dulged in too frequently and if limited to brief periods of ex- 
ercise, but football is to be "put in perpetual silence" because 
"therein is nothing but beastly furie and external violence, 
whereof procedeth hurte, and consequently rancour and malice 
do remaine with them that be wounded." In his second and 
third books the author sets forth the lofty ideals which ought 
to inspire the governor and describes the way in which he can 
be trained to a virtuous life. 
The whole book is full of classical reminiscences taken either 
directly from the authors of antiquity or borrowed from the 
humanists of Italy. It discourses on the methods of hunting 
practised among the Greeks and Romans, and the dances of the 

Sir Thomas Elyot. Thomas Wilson 25 

youths of Sparta are not forgotten. It is also interesting to 
notice that the education portrayed in the first book is almost 
exactly what had been given to the young Italian patrician for 
more than a generation; while the second and third books add 
those moral ideals which the more seriously-minded northern 
nations demanded. It is the unfolding of a plan of education 
which Wilibald Pirkheimer, the friend of Erasmus, describes as 
having been his own, and it is the attempt to introduce into 
English life an ideal of the many-sided culture which the 
classical renascence had disclosed. 
Elyot's reputation among his contemporaries rested on more 
than his Boke o] the Governour. He wrote The Castcl o] Hcllh, 
full of prescriptions and remedies largely selected from Galen 
and other medical authorities of antiquity. His two tracts" 
A swete aut devoute sermon of Holy Saynt Ciprian, of 3Iortalitie 
of Man and The Rules of a Christian lyre made by ['icus. crle 
of Miramtula, both translated into Englyshe, provided food for 
the soul. His translations from Latin and Greek into English, 
made at a time when all were anxious to share in classical 
learning, and only a few possessed a knowledge of the classical 
languages sufficient to enable them to share its benefits, were 
very popular and were reprinted over and over again. To this 
class belong" The Doctrine of Princes, made by the oblc oratour 
[socrates, aut translated out o Greke in to Englishe; The [3ankcttc 
of Science (a collection of sayings translated from the Fathers) ; 
The Edcation or Bringige up of Children, translated o,l of 
Plutarche; The Image of Governance, compiled of the acres atd 
sentences wtable of the moste noble Emperon r A lexa nder Severu s, 
late translated out of Greke into Englyshe and others of a like 
kind. Henry VIII himself encouraged Elyot in the compila- 
tion on his Latin-English lexicon: The Dictiomry of S)'r T. 
Eliot, knyght, with its later title, Bibliotheca Eliotae. This 
dictionary and his translations continued to be appreciated in a 
wonderful manner for two generations at least. If Erasmus 
popularised the classical renascence for scholars, Elyot rendered 
it accessible to the mass of the people who had no acquaintance 
with the languages of antiquity. 
Wilson's Arte of Rhetorique is almost exclusively drawn from 
such old masters as Aristotle, Cicero and Quintilian. The 
author discusses various kinds of composition, sets forth the 

Spread of Classical Renascence 27 

Caesar were familiar names in England, and a Welsh soldier 
had at least heard of Alexander and of Macedon. 
Thus, classical learning, at first the possession of a fa- 
voured few, then, by means of translations, the property of all 
people fairly educated, gradually permeated England so thor- 
oughly that, though Shakespeare was not far distant from 
Chaucer by the measurement of time, when we pass from 
the one to the other it is as if we entered a new and entirely 
different world. 


Reformation Literature in England 

HE reformation left its mark upon the national literature, 
as upon the national life, but, beyond this abiding 
influence, there xvas, in this period, much literary 
activity of a mere passing interest. Yet even this was so signifi- 
cant of current thought, and helped so greatly to form public 
opinion, that it must not be forgotten. The appearance of the 
English Bible and the Book of Common Prayer must not hide 
from us the vigour of religious tracts and controversies, the 
number of sermons, of books of devotion and instruction, 
which seemed, to the age itself, of hardly less importance. 
Much of the religious literature which had appeared before 
had issued from definite local centres and, for the most part, 
reached merely local audiences. This was now ceasing to be 
the case, for the country was drawn more closely together, and 
the printing press, answering to the instincts of the day, gave 
writers a ready means of wider influence. 
Lollard tracts and Lollard adaptations of orthodox works 
had long been current, especially in certain districts. Some 
of these, after a long life, xvere noxv reprinted, as, for instance, 
Wyclif's supposed work, The W/cket, which Coverdale edited. 
The question, therefore, arises how far the English reformation 
xvas either the outcome, or an indirect result, of the Lollard 
movement, and an answer may be given either from the 
literary, or from the purely historic, side. On the former, we 
gather that Lollard works were reprinted, partly, it may be, 
for their supposed value, but, also, to show that the opinions 
held by their editors had been taught in England long before. 
These reprints appeared, moreover, not in the early stages of the 
reformation, but when it xvas well under way. There is no 

Simon Fish 29 

need, therefore, to reckon these reprints among the causes of 
the reformation: their nature and the date of their appearance 
tend strongly against such an assumption. Approaching the 
question, however, from the purely historic side, we find that 
the Lollard movement had left behind it, in some localities, 
much religious discontent, and some revolutionary religious 
teaching. Such discontent and teaching would, doubtless, 
have come into being irrespective of Lollardy. \Vhen the 
reformation came, however, it found these influences already 
at xvork; no doubt it quickened them and drew them around 
itself. That is the utmost we can say. 
This popular reformation literature, the successor, although 
hardly the descendant, of the Lollard literature, was, for the 
most part, printed abroad, and was, sometimes, prohibited by 
English bishops. But it would appear that probably Henry 
VIII, and certainly the protector Somerset, cormivcd at its 
circulation, because they xvelcomed any help that made change 
seem desirable. The stow of The Snpplicatioz yor the Beggars, 
as told by Foxe, is an illustration of this. 
Simon Fish, a gentleman of Gray's Inn, had to leave Lon- 
don, about the year I525, for acting in a play vhich touched 
cardinal Wolsey; he, like Tindale, fled across the sea, and, while 
abroad, wrote The 5upplication yor the Beggars. This effec- 
tively written pamphlet urged the abolition of monasteries 
and the seizure of their lands; its incidental, and often coarse, 
abuse of ecclesiastics, and its many exaggerations, merely 
heightened the effect it produced. Either through Anne 
Boleyn or some royal servant the pamphlet reached the hands 
ef Henry VIII, who is said to have studied it carefully and long 
kept it by him. Through the king's connivance, Fish was 
allowed to return from his banishment. By the time his 
pamphlet had appeared, the writings of Tindale, to whom Sir 
Thomas More replied in his Dialogue, were also current. Sir 
Thomas More, in his Supplication of Souls, replied to Fish, 
and the Cambridge student, John Frith, retorted upon More. 
The Lollard literature and controversies were thus swallowed 
up in the reformation, and, although a lower class of writings, 
such as that of Fish, still continued to be written and circulated, 
more literary interest belongs to a theological class that followed 
them. The new writings recalled, always in their exaggera- 

30 Reformation Literature in England 

tion and sometimes in their violence, the old, but they were 
composed upon a larger scale; and the importance of single 
members of the class, and the numbers in which they were 
published, made this new movement more important than 
Lollardy had ever been. 
This reformation movement was essentially academic in 
origin. The revival of letters had already shown its power at 
Oxford, where Colet, lIore and Erasmus had directed it into 
religious channels. The shares taken by these three in the 
classical renascence in England has already been discussed; 
and reference need only be made here to the impulse which 
Erasmus gave to religious thought and learning in Cambridge. 
Bishop Fisher had brought to the service of the university 
an enthusiasm for practical piety; he had revived the best side 
of medieval religious discipline; but he had placed the claims 
of practical life first, although that life was to be tempered 
with learning and purified by the Scriptures. Fisher gladly 
welcomed Erasmus, who was the fourth Lady Margaret Reader 
(5i); if Erasmus, as his works show, sympathised with 
Fisher's practical aim, he understood, as Fisher, who was not 
unreservedly a humanist, hardly did, the breadth of learning 
needed for effective preaching. 
Thomas Bilney, whose friendship altered the life of Hugh 
Latimer, had for the first time (to use his own words, which 
should not be taken too literally) "heard speak of Jesus, even 
then vhen the New Testament xvas first set forth by Erasmus." 
William Tindale admired the great scholar and translated 
his tnchfridfon, which Coverdale also summarised. Cranmer 
counted Erasmus among the authors he studied specially, and, 
when he gave himself up more exclusively to Biblical learning, 
he was still following the steps of his master. Erasmus was 
able, in a letter written later (i 516), to his pupil, Henry Bullock 
of Queens', to speak with pride of the increased IiblicaI study 
at Cambridge as a result he had hoped for from his labours. 
Robert Barnes, an Augustinian friar of Norfolk descent, had 
been educated at Louvain; and, on coming to Cambridge as 
prior of the Augustinian friars, he began to lecture, first on 
classics, and then on theology. George Stafford, a Fellow 
of Pembroke, was also a celebrated lecturer upon the Scrip- 
tures; the expositions with which he " beatified the letters of 

Erasmus and Cambridge 

blessed Paul" deeply affected Thomas Becon and others. 
This, like other great movements, had its distortions and its 
extremes; Skelton could ridicule the theologians who with a 
"lytell ragge of rhetoricke," a "lesse lumpe of logicke," a patch 
of philosophy, "tumbled" in theology and were drowned in 
"dregges of divinite," posing as "doctours of the chayre" at the 
taverns. Some of the young theologians were of "whirling" 
spirits; some, like Robert Barnes, flew high and far into politics, 
and, by their indiscretion, brought danger upon themselves and 
their cause; some of them not infrequently dropped to the lower 
depths of controversy. But solid results remained. Richard 
Croke, who, after a distinguished career abroad, became 
Reader in Greek (i519), carried on the work already begun; 
he recognised the pre-eminent claim of the Bible upon theo- 
logical students, and, when Wolsey (x527) formed his Cam- 
bridge colony at Oxford, the new and active school of thought 
entered upon a wider field. The English reformation began at 
Cambridge, and the Cambridge movement began with Erasmus, 
although he was not its sole author. For, both atCambridge,and 
in the country at large, the general movement towards reform 
and the religious influence of the revival of learning formed 
a sympathetic atmosphere in which his influence easily spread. 
The new movement--a quickening of religion and theology, 
upon the background of an awakened world--took many forms 
and turned in many ways. It was not always revolutionary, 
and, in one direction, it turned to older forms of devotion. 
Religion in England had enriched the church with the Sarum 
use, akin to other uses elsewhere and of wide importance, and 
with uses less popular in England, like those of Hereford and 
York; it had, further, formed the Primers, books of private 
devotion, translated in the fourteenth century from Latin into 
English, and printed at early dates and in many forms. Not 
only in England, but in other countries, the reformation con- 
cerned itself largely with these aids to devotion; every'here 
appeared much needed revisions of liturgies and offices, every- 
where attempts were made, more or less successfully, at 
altering them to meet popular needs, or to avoid abuses. In 
England, the great outcome was The Book of Common Prayer, 
which was essentially conservative, although its history 
showed much of revolution. 

Reformation Literature in England 

And, again, the reformation, owing both to the wishes of its 
academic founders and to the popular tendencies underlying it, 
concerned itself largely with popular preaching. It is a wide- 
spread error to assume that there was little popular preaching 
in the Middle Ages. It is true that there were many bishops 
and parish priests who shirked their canonical duties in this 
respect, but there was much popular instruction; there was, 
especially among the friars, much simple, at times even sensa- 
tional, mission preaching. But the deepening of religious life 
that preceded the reformation led men to employ with greater 
diligence all means of helping others, and popular preaching 
was thus more widely used. Here again, both a conservative 
and a revolutionary tendency are observable. On the one 
hand, we can trace the fuller but continuous histor3" of the 
older use of sermons. On the other hand, we find the tendency, 
seen at its strongest in Zwinglianism, to exalt the sermon above 
the sacraments, to put the pulpit in place of the altar. Both 
tendencies made the literature of sermons more popular, and 
more significant. But, in the literature thus revived, the 
academic and popular elements were closely mingled. 
It would have been strange if, when interest in religion and 
religious questions was thus rising, religious controversies had 
not multiplied. The stir of newly felt needs and impulses to 
fresh devotion stimulated differences of opinion no less than 
did abuses calling loudly for reform. The English people had 
always been religious, and there had always been religious 
controversies; but now these were both multiplied and intensi- 
fied. Some were of merely passing importance, although of 
much historic significance; but others represented real and 
solid endeavours to form public opinion. It is impossible to 
notice more than a few of hem; some were caused by political 
relations and by the breach with Rome, and their existence 
has to be remembered, though they must not be taken for the 
chief religious interests of the time. 
But, from the literary point of view, the most striking 
feature of the reformation is its connection with the English 
Bible, and that Bible itself is its greatest monument. Here, 
again, we might consider the production of the Bible as pre- 
pared by that more conservative movement, associated with 
th: ::,i.- 1 ,sf ;c.:-ning ,-_n-! sccn both in the Oxford reformers 

Thomas Cranmer 37 

great movement, but he failed in decision and power. And 
yet, no one vho reads his letters and writings, or who traces his 
work upon the prayer-book, can doubt that he represents faith- 
fully much of the mind of the English reformation. His feet 
stood upon the past, but his outlook was towards the future. 
He was skilled in all the older ecclesiastical learning, even in 
the canon lav which many of his friends despised; and if, in 
some points, he would have changed beyond the limits reached, 
in others he would gladly have kept even more of the past. 
He had not only liturgical knowledge but also a liturgical 
interest which belonged rather to bygone times; he added to 
it an exquisite ear for a language that was just learning its 
strength. There is all the difference in the world between the 
crude bareness of the Litany as he found it, and its majestic 
rhythm when it left his pen. In other works, vhere he had no 
help from the past, as, for instance, in his theological writings, 
his style falls somewhat lower, but, even then, it is always nerv- 
ous, simple and continuous. His chief writings deal vith the 
Holy Eucharist, and their historical, as well as theological, 
interest is, therefore, great. His De]ence o] the true and Catholic 
Doctrine o[ the Sacrament of the Body and Blood o Christ (i 55o), 
to which he added while in prison and which was afterwards 
reprinted, shows his ample learning, and yet, even when dealing 
with intricate points, it is always simple in phrase and striking 
in its expressions. Learning was now coming down from its 
seclusion and addressing itself to a public anxious for enlighten- 
ment. Quickly as Cranmer could compose in Latinhis Reply 
to the Three Articles brought against him at his trial is an 
instance of his readiness--English came more naturally to 
him, and, in the continued debates of his trial, the disputants 
often forsook Latin for English. 
The publication of the De[ence brought upon him much 
controversy. Gardiner's Explication aM Assertion o[ the 
trite Catholic Faith (published in France, 55 o) was an able 
criticism to which Cranmer replied in his Answer (October, 
550- Richard Smyth, formerly professor at Oxford but 
deprived in favour of Vermigli (Peter Martyr), also attacked 
him in A Conjuration of the trite aM Catholic Doctrine 
(I55o), and Cranmer included him, too, in his reply to 

38 Reformation Literature in England 

Cranmer had the receptive mind which often goes with 
practical weakness; and thus he illustrated in himself the 
religious changes of his day, although he moved slowly to his 
final views. At Cambridge, books from Germany had been 
eagerly read by a little company that gathered at "The White 
Horse," and it was through him that German theologians, some 
of them fugitives because of the Augsburg Interim, were called 
to the English universities. Peter Martyr came to Oxford 
(May, I549) and the more conservative Bucer (1549) with 
Fagius to Cambridge. 
Foreign criticism had been exercised upon the prayer-book 
of 1549, and Cranmer's own mental changes worked along with 
the politics of the time to make its alteration seem desirable. 
The second prayer-book, therefore, while expressly sanctioning 
its predecessor as containing nothing but what was agreeable 
to the word of God and the primitive church, yet made many 
changes; some slight, others more important, the latter class 
mainly involving Eucharistic doctrine, upon which point, as 
upon that of vestments, controversy was most intense. Under 
Elizabeth, the vestiarian controversy reappeared, until it was 
swallowed up by the larger and more vital discussion upon 
church government. But, before that came, the Elizabethan 
prayer-book had been constructed (i 559)- The change from 
the medieval to the modern type had been really completed 
with the book of 1552, although under James I, as a result of 
the Millenary petition (24 March, 16o3) and the Hampton Court 
conference (i4-i8 January, i6o4), a few slight changes were 
made, but not in the direction of puritan complaints. After 
the Restoration, there was an attempt at closer agreement, but 
the Savoy conference (i 5 April, 1660 did little towards attain- 
ing it. Parties were too clearly marked: between the puritan 
who claimed entire freedom for the minister and the bishop 
who wished to retain ancient use there could be little agree- 
ment. Nor, again, was it easy to satisfy at the same time those 
who believed in episcopacy, and those who maintained an 
exclusive presbyterianism. The formation of the English 
prayer-book in itself was now complete formally, as, practically, 
it had been complete long before. Its liturgical influence has 
been nearly as wide-spread as its literary example ; it has become 
the parent of the Scots prayer-book, of the American and of 

Cranmer's Influence 39 

the Irish, all with features of their own, but forming one great 
school after the English model. 
It was the influence of Cranmer that restrained the English 
reformation from folloving more closely the extremes of 
foreign example. When Edward's reign was over, he regretted 
his compliance with regard to the change in the royal succession, 
but he was prepared to justify, with arguments that were 
forcible as well as learned, the theological position which he 
finally reached and which he had at least made possible under the 
second prayer-book. His martyrdom was a great incident in 
the reformation, and it added to his individual influence. To 
his friends and foes alike, the death-scene vas both pathetic 
and important; eye-witnesses of very different sympathies have 
described it; and complicated questions, legal and canonical, 
have been asked concerning it. But the simple, self-distrusting 
mind of the scholar and writer wished to make no pose, and 
sought after no display. The cruelty shown him did little to 
check the movement. The leaders of the Elizabethan church 
were men of much his mould, but with an added touch of 
strength and effective purpose. They thankfully took as the 
basis of their work the prayer-book that had translated the 
devotion of the past into the language of the future. They 
folloved Cranmer in his wish to learn from the church, as he had 
strongly expressed it in his Appeal to a Coztucil; they follovcd 
him also in his love of the Scriptures. 
One new feature in the prayer-book had been its e.xhorta- 
tions. Edification and instruction were needed: not only, 
therefore, was much Scripture introduced, but short discourses 
or exhortations, Scriptural, pointed and, withal, majestic, were 
also added; some of them date from the order of communion 
issued in I548, one, also in the communion service, was due 
to Peter Martyr. But the wish to instruct shoxvn by these 
compositions found a larger field for itself in the Homilies. 
The first book of Homilies was issued (i547) when the policy 
of licensing a few preachers and silencing others was carried 
to an extreme. Cranmer, at an earlier date (I539-43), had 
been preparing homilies meant both to set the note of preaching 
and to provide sermons for those who preached with difficulty 
or not at all: he himself wrote for the first book the homilies of 
salvation, of faith and of good works, and, doubtless, he edited 

Hugh Latimer 

afterwards bishop of Gloucester, whose sermons upon Josiah, 
before Edward VI, were vigorous in denunciation and fear- 
less in reproof. But the reputation of all these capable preach- 
ers, speaking, as they did, to a generation tolerant, or even 
avaricious, of sermons, vas overshadowed by the greater name 
of Hugh Latimer. 
Latimer, the exact year of whose birth is uncertain (485- 
9), took his bachelor's degree at Cambridge in 5 io, and his 
bachelorship of divinity in 1524. As crossbearer ( 5-02) to 
the university and as Fellow of Clare he had some academical 
position. Up to I524, he had opposed the ncw teaching, and, 
in his "act" for B.D., had attacked Melanchthon. But, after 
that discourse, Thomas Bilney, desiring to influence him, chose 
him as confessor and, as a penitent, gained him over to his 
own views. Together, they spent their days in works of mercy; 
in the evening, they, with Robert Barnes, Stafl'ord and others, 
met at "The White Horse" for reading and discussion. "Little 
Germany," as the place was called, became a centre of influence 
in the university, and remained so until an abusive sermon of 
Barnes, preached in St. Edward's church on Christmas Eve, 
1525, brought danger upon the "Germans." Hitherto, Wolsey 
had been very tolerant and, although urged by the bishops to 
take steps against heresy at the universities, had refused to do 
so. But Barnes, who, like Latimer, had come under Bilney's 
spiritual influence, had not learnt reverence or discretion, and 
in this sermon he had attacked Wolsey with violence. Taken 
to London and examined before Wolsey, he agreed to recant; 
after this he was imprisoned for three years and then escaped 
to Germany. The incident scattered the band of Cambridge 
scholars and was a crisis in their history. It not only brought 
them into disrepute, but lent bitterness to their words and 
When Barnes preached this celebrated sermon, he had ex- 
changed pulpits with Latimer, who, although he had just been 
inhibited by the bishop (West) of Ely, could still preach in the 
exempt chapel of the Augustinian priory. The trouble caused 
Latimer, also, to be called before Wolsey, who appreciated his 
good qualities and his sound old-fashioned learning, and al_ 
lowed him to return to Cambridge xvith a general licence to 
preach, signed by the cardinal himself. The incident shows the 

Sermons 43 

These were his words to Ridley. To another prisoner, aver- 
ing in the peril of death, he wrote: 

If any man perceive his faith not to abide the fire, let such an one 
with weeping buy his liberty, until he hath obtained more strength, 
lest the gospel by him sustain an offence of some shameful recanta- 
tion. Let the dead bury their dead. Let us that be of the lively 
faith follow the Lamb wheresoever He goeth. 

Clearly those were not mistaken who had seen in the great 
preacher an underlying strength of manliness, inspired by piety, 
as the foundation of his character. 
The pover of a preacher is hard to estimate, for much of it 
vanishes with the day itself. But the characteristics tlat draw 
us, even yet, to Latimer's sermons had their attraction then 
also. The homely anecdotes, the touches illustrative of social 
manners and habits, are valuable for us historically: at the 
time of their delivery they gave the sermons vividness and 
special force. Honesty and fearlessness, directness of appeal 
and allusions to matters of the day, showed the preacher's 
contact with life. They showed, moreover, how far he had 
departed from the previous conventionalities of the pulpit; 
almost the only trace of them is the frequent use (seen, also, 
in Longland's sermons) of Latin words that, to us, in no way 
deepen the impression. It was the nature of the man that 
spoke through all these things, and, because he was natural 
above all else, because he revealed himself to hearers whose 
natures he laid hold of by instinct, he gained great power. 
But minor points were not neglected: repetition, intolerable in 
writings, but declared, by masters of preaching, to be necessary 
in sermons meant for instruction, was a frequent feature. He 
grasped the attention, sometimes by what have been called 
"antics," and then he searched the conscience and touched the 
heart. It was an age that sought instruction, and he com- 
pelled it to listen. It would be hard to find sermons anywhere 
that showso plainlyas do his the true relation between preacher 
and congregation. There was nothing in them of art, but 
there was the sense of a message driven home with sympathy 
and love. He preached because he must: the sermon was his 
natural expression. There had been nothing of the kind in 
English before; and not many years had passed before the 

44 Reformation Literature in England 

technical scholastics of puritanism, the search after conceits 
of imagination and expression, made sermons such as his 
A commission to investigate heretical books, upon which 
Latimer served, had been appointed (i 530). Some restrictions 
xvere considered needful, but evasions of authoritative regula- 
tions were common: church and state had a common interest 
in checking the heresy and sedition which, often expressed 
with scurrility, was their common enemy. The control or 
licensing of books was, as a rule, assigned to the bishops; but 
the universities, not only in England but, also, on the continent, 
had been often appealed to. Henry (6 May, i53o) summoned 
representatives of both universities to meet and examine 
suspected books. Their labours ended (24 May) in the con- 
demnation of many vorks; some old, such as the writings of 
Wyclif and Hus, some new, such as those of Luther, Zwingli, 
Fish, Joye and Tindale. The Parable o the lI'icked lIammon, 
The Obediezce o[ a Christia Man, The Revelatio o[ Anti-Christ 
and The Sum o] Scripture were writings of Tindale and his 
school which produced great effect. 
William Tindale is, to us, above all the translator of the 
Scriptures, but, to his own age, he was probably at least as 
much the theological pamphleteer. Of his early life, nothing 
is really known. He was born, probably about I484, in 
Gloucestershire, and went to Oxford, where, under the name of 
Hichyns, he took his M.A. degree in 55- He spent some 
time afterwards in Cambridge, and, about  5-', went as private 
tutor to Little Sodbury, in his native county. It was here 
that he formed his great design of translating the Bible into 
English, and the need of such a work xvas impressed upon him 
while preaching to the country people. His preaching in the 
villages and in Bristol first brought him into collision with the 
church authorities. He had to appear before the diocesan 
chancellor; but of the result of his summons--probably unim- 
portant-nothing is known with certainty. Before long, 
Tindale went up to London with the special object of gaining 
protection for his work of translation (I5-'3). From Tunstall, 
bishop of London, he received little encouragement; but 
Humphry Monmouth, an alderman and merchant, gave him 
shelter and friendship. Gradually, Tindale came to think 

William Tindale 45 

that there was no place in England for his purpose, and he 
crossed over to Hamburg (524). It was possible to print 
books abroad and send them into England by an evasion of 
the existing regulations; and the secret association of the Chris- 
tian Brethren, which existed for the spread of this suspected 
literature, was specially active in East Anglia, in London and 
in other seaports. In Germany, Tindale came into coitact 
with others who, for reasons as good as, or better than, his 
own, had left England; among these were William Roy, George 
Joye (with both of whom he affervards quarrelled) and John 
Frith. Pamphlets which troubled the government became 
more numerous in England after Tindale's arrival on the 
continent; and yet, while their seizure vas ordered, the king 
was reading them with pleasure. Tindale's theological opin- 
ions had, by this time, gone far beyond those of his original 
master, Erasmus, and he put them forth with confidence: he 
was now opposed to all ceremonies that were not perfectly 
understood; he questioned confirmation and baptism with 
arguments which were often expressed disrespectfully and 
sometimes irreverently; while his insistence upon the need of 
faith alone was accompanied by a dangerous depreciation of 
all good works. Some bitterness of expression may be allowed 
men who fear for their lives or are chafing under abuses they 
cannot remove, but the language of some pamphlets of the 
day passed all such allowance. Joye was even more violent 
than Tindale, whom More styled "the captain of our English 
heretics"; but there were some who, like John Frith, argued 
out great issues in a becoming way. Frith's ]isl-zlal[o o 
Purgatory and The Supper o the Lord, which presented the 
Zwinglian view, led to controversy with Rastell and More. 
He first began the lengthy sacramental controversy, but the 
characteristic of his teaching was the assertion that purgatory 
and transubstantiation should be left open questions. This 
tolerance vas impressed upon him by Tindale, whose associa- 
tions with Marburg may have suggested to him the need of 
comprehensiveness. His advice to Frith, that he should go on 
preaching "until the matter might be reasoned in peace at 
leisure of both parties," was based upon expediency, but Frith 
soon raised the principle to a point of conscience. The Arliclcs 
whereo[ John Frith died show us a writer and a martyr (533) 

46 Reformation Literature in England 

far above most theologians of the day in dignity and breadth. 
But Tindale's orders to him, that he should "ever among thrust 
in that the Scripture may be in the mother-tongue and learn- 
ing set up in the universities," taken together with his letters to 
others, shoxv the former as the leader of a wide-spread movement, 
directed by him with energy and zeal, but not always with 
knowledge or self-restraint. The typical misunderstanding 
of Wolsey displayed in The Practice of Prelates marks Tindale's 
limitations and defects. He was a scholar with something of a 
scholar's self-seclusion and ignorance of the world, and he is not 
the only scholar who, in writing upon theology or politics, has 
failed to calculate the effect of his language upon others. 
Furthermore, the circumstances of his life were unfavourable 
to his disposition. Publishers, like Froben at Basel, kept 
scholars, like Erasmus and Beatus Rhenanus, at work upon 
profitable tasks; the element of commercial speculation entered 
into all literary work; and thus, around Tindale with his great 
aim, xvere grouped others less lofty in mind and chiefly intent 
upon gain. His associates xvere often undesirable; his own 
absorption in his task and his curious love of self-assertion both 
tended to make him somewhat peevish in his dealings; and 
thus, partly because of himself, partly because of his friends, 
the story of his adventures abroad is a depressing one. The 
violence of these writers, the deceitful and underhand means by 
which they gained their infltlence, sometimes their treachery 
to each other, were certain to bring disaster upon themselves 
and others, and deprive them of much of the sympathy which 
might otheravise be theirs. But the main effect of Tindale's 
xvritings was to urge the private appeal to the sole authority of 
Scripture, secured by the unlimited power of the king, with his 
full power of reforming the church. Such teaching made him 
a useful ally to Henry VIII, and led to his being secretly 
encouraged. But his strong condemnation of Henrs"s divorce, 
creditable to him as it was, lessened his usefulness in Henry's 
It is a relief to turn from the pamphlets to Tindale's 
Biblical translation. His scholarship was adequate and he 
was not dependent upon the Vulgate alone; his exposition of 
his methods--like his love of the Scriptures, possibly derived 
from Erasmus--magnifies his conception of his task and its 

48 Reformation Literature in England 

he had tried to suppress. Bishop Nix of Norwich was not 
the only one who thought that the king favoured " arroneous 
boks" ( 530). 
Other editions of Tindale's New Testament-one, of a poor 
character, pirated by his former helper George Joye--appeared, 
and (November,  53 4) Tindale published a revised edition of his 
own, to which he added not only slight marginal notes, but also 
those epistles in the Sarum use which came from the Old Testa- 
ment or the Apocrypha. In the very year that Tindale was 
put to death ( 536), an edition was printed in England. After 
many wanderings, to Marburg, to Hamburg and, finally, to 
Antwerp, he was treacherously seized (May, 535), not by 
English contrivance, and put to death at Vilvorde (6 October, 
536). But his work was already done; copies of the New 
Testament, either his or founded upon his, were common, and 
he had made more than a beginning with the Old Testament; 
he had, moreover, fixed the character of the English transla- 
tions for evermore. Instinctively he, like many writers or 
preachers of his day, had expressed himself in the popular 
style, not in the larger phrase affected by scholars, and, in 
that style, the Bible remained. 
Miles Coverdale, afterwards bishop of Exeter, although in- 
ferior to Tindale in scholarship, was at least as closely con- 
nected with the English version. A Yorkshireman by birth, 
he became an Augustinian friar at Cambridge, where he had 
formed one of the band of reformers, and had been naturally 
influenced by his prior, Barnes; he had also early connections 
with Sir Thomas More and Thomas Cromwell. He soon left 
England, however, and probably (529) met Tindale abroad. 
Not only did he thus enter the circle of translators, but he was 
urged by Cromwell to print an edition of his own, about which 
much correspondence took place between Cromwell and the 
editors and printers. The work, when it appeared (535), 
was said to be translated from the Dutch (i.e., German) and 
Latin, and not to be for the maintenance of any sect; Cover- 
l_tle recognised the previous labours of others, which he had, 
indeed, largely used, and he drew upon the Ziirich Bible as well 
as upon Tindale's editions. He dedicated his work to Henry 
VIII, in the hope of receiving royal patronage, if not a royal 
licence; but this was not formally given. Cromwell's injunc- 

The Great Bible 49 

tion (x536) that the Bible, in Latin and English, should be 
placed in churches was, doubtless, meant to refer to this edition, 
but the order was ineffective. Convocation, however, soon 
asked again for a new translation, and the second edition of 
Coverdale's work--published (t537) both in folio and quarto, 
and the first Bible printed in England--was licensed by the 
king. The edition of 535, printed, probably, by Froschover 
at Zfirich, had also been the first complete English Bille 
printed. Tindale had translated the PenaIeuch, Jonak and 
some detached pieces, and may have left more in MS., but 
Coverdale now translated the whole. He did not claim any 
extensive scholarship, and his description of his work is modest ; 
but his pains, nevertheless, had been great, and the prayer- 
book Psalter, still reminding us of his work, speaks of its liter- 
ary merits to all. 
The history of the English Bible had thus moved quickly; 
but the publicity, which Coverdale, perhaps even above Tin- 
dale, had aimed at, was gained even more largely by another 
edition. Thomas Matthew, or, rather, John Rogers, to give 
him his real name, formed another Bible by a combination of 
Tindale's Old Testament so far as it went and Coverdale's 
the Apocrypka being included. This was printed abroad by 
R. Grafton (who was a fellow-worker with Coverdale) and T. 
Whitchurch (i 537)- It is usually thought that, in parts where 
this edition differs from Coverdale, it is indebted to remains 
left by Tindale, up to  Ckroniclcs, since Rogers, Tindale's 
former assistant, probably had access to these. It was dedi- 
cated to Henry VIII, and Cranmer, who liked i better than all 
previous translations, was able to befriend it. The king gave 
leave for its sale, and thus i reached a place not publicly 
gained before; and its many notes found it favour or disfavour 
according to the reader's opinions. 
Coverdale began to prepare a new edition, for which he went 
abroad in the Lent of t 538; but, as the inquisition forbade its 
being printed in Paris, it was partly printed (1539) in England, 
after it (September,  538) had been ordered for use in churches. 
This edition is known as the Great Bible. Again, Coverdale's 
labours had turned more o other versions than to the text, 
and he had availed himself of some new continental versions. 
.A second edition of it (April,  54o) appeared with a preface by 
VOL. 4 


although one exception must be noted, in the Scots New 
Testament of Murdoch Nisbet (c. 152o). This was based upon 
Purvey's version, although the earlier Wyclifite version may, 
also, have been used: the adaptation of Luther's preface to the 
New Testament (x522), and the later addition of Tindale's 
prologue to Romans, indicate the use of these editions after 
the work had been begun. Nisbet belonged to Ayrshire, and 
had come under the influence of the Lollards of that district. 
He had not only been a fugitive for his religion, but, after his 
return home, had lived many years in hiding. His translation 
had, doubtless, been made for a help in his own ministry, but 
the importation into Scotland of Tindale's translation checked 
its use and so possibly prevented the publication of a lin- 
guistically and historically interesting version. 
One further result of the liturgical changes and the growing 
use of the vulgar tongue calls for mention. The hymns in the 
daily offices had always been popular, and the tendency to 
replace them by English substitutes was natural and strong. 
The best example of devotional poetry was to be found in the 
Psalms, and, when religious and poetic interests were warmly 
felt, a rendering of the Psalms into English verse seemed a 
happy method of stirring up religious zeal. C16ment Marot 
had set French psalms to popular tunes for the French court 
under Francis I; Calvin, whom many generations of puritans 
followed, kept Marot's words, although he rejected his tunes. 
An English courtier and poet attempted a like task in England. 
Thomas Sternhold, a Hampshire gentleman educated at Ox- 
ford, became groom of the robes to Henry VIII. He was in 
trouble for his religious views (x543), but kept his favour at 
court, and was there at a time when English was being largely 
used in Edward VI's chapel royal. Thinking to turn the 
minds of the nobles to higher things, he put some psalms into 
verse and (x548), a year before his death, published nineteen 
of them under the title of Certayne Psalms. A year later, John 
Hopkins, a clergyman of Suffolk, published thirty-seven psalms 
by Sternhold, with seven of his own. In later editions, he 
increased the number, and ( 562) The ll'hole Booke o[ Psalmes 
by Sternhold, Hopkins, Thos. Norton and others, appeared in 
verse, and was added to the prayer-book. Not only was this 
done, but melodies, some of which are still in popular use, were 


Reformation Literature in England 

also printed. Successive editions show traces of German 
influence, and a formidable rival appeared in the Genevan 
Psalter, due to Whittingham, Kethe and others. Its history 
is much like that of the older English version, with which it 
has much in common: fifty-one psalms were printed (556) 
together with the form of prayer used by the English exiles, and. 
in later editions, more were added. The influence of Marot 
and Beza could be traced in it, and so reappears in its de- 
scendant, the Scots Psalter (564). The growth of Calvinism 
made these versions more popular than that of Sternhold, 
but his compositions, which are marked by a concise and 
natural simplicity, are easy to distinguish. Metrical psalmody 
was in the air, and many writers, including archbishop Parker 
(c. 1555), tried their hands at it. Its popularity grew, but the 
growing separation between religion and all kinds of art, which 
marked the seventeenth century, lowered the literary quality of 
later editions. These earlier versions had been, however, 
deservedly popular, and opened a new channel for religious 
fervour. Their merits and their religious influence must not 
be judged by their later successors. They belonged to a time 
when religious feeling and literary taste were at a higher level, 
and they did something to replace a favourite part of the older 
A general survey of the field teaches us how varied the 
religious impulses of the reformation were, and how vital they 
were for the national welfare, both upon their positive and 
negative sides. Party feeling and royal politics made the 
course of the movement sometimes slower, sometimes tumultu- 
ous. One change may be noted. In the lists of early printed 
books, a number of medieval manuals of devotion and in- 
struction precede the controversial writings. At first, as in 
the Middle Ages, schools conceal individuals, the same material 
is re-used and authorship is difficult to settle. But, as in the 
cases of gIore and Tindale, the weight of well-known names 
begins to be felt, and the printing press, fixing once for all the 
very words of a writer, put an end to processes which had often 
hidden authorship. The needs of controversy hastened the 
change, and individualism in literature began. An author was 
now face to face with his public. It is trite to call the refor- 
mation an age of transition, and its significance for creative 

Summary 53 

thought is sometimes over-estimated. But, at its outset, the 
problems of its literature, its methods and its processes are 
medieval; at its end, they are those which we know to-day. 
If, in Germany, the revolution was heralded by medieval theses, 
in England, the reformation controversies sprang out of a 
literature purely medieval. But, at the close of the period we 
have dealt with, the translation of an English Bible, the forma- 
tion of an English prayer-book, stand out as great religious and 
literary results, and each of them is due less to individual 
labourers than to the continuous work of schools. There may 
have been many who regretted much that had been lost; but 
to have preserved and adapted so much was no mean gain. 
Many of the absorbing controversies died away; but these 
results, which they had helped to produce, remained. 


The Dissolution of the Religious Houses 

HE general wave of new thought breaking upon England 
in the first half of the sixteenth century swept away 
with it, among other things, the almost countless relig- 
ious houses with which the country was covered. Their 
disappearance is more significant considered as an effect than 
as a cause; yet it cannot be doubted that, in its turn, it had an 
effect, both for good and for evil, on the movement in which 
it was an incident. And first let the losses to learning be 
The destruction of books was almost incredibly enormous. 
Bale describes the use of them by bookbinders and by grocers 
and merchants for the packing of their goods. Maskell calcu- 
lates the loss of liturgical books alone to have approached the 
total of a quarter of a million. An eye-witness describes the 
leaves of Duns Scotus as blown about by the xvind even in 
the courts of Oxford, and their use for sporting and other pur- 
poses. Libraries that had been collected through centuries, 
such as those of Christ Church and St. Albans, both classical 
and theological, vanished in a moment. It was not only the 
studious orders that gathered books the friars, also, had 
libraries, though, as Leland relates of the Oxford Franciscans, 
they did not always know how to look after them. So late as 
153 5, a bequest was made by the bishop of St. Asaph of five 
marks to buy books for the Grey Friars of Oxford. Nor 
can it be doubted that vast numbers of books less directly 
theological must have perished. 
A second destruction was that of the homes of study which 
the religious houses, especially those of the Benedictines, pro- 
vided for all who leaned that way. The classical renascence 

Destruction of Opportunities for Study 55 

had not yet made sufficient xvay, except among the more ad- 
vanced, to disturb the old system by which it was natural for 
the studious to enter the cloister and the rest to remain men 
of sport or war. The use of the word" clerk" as denoting a man 
of education, apart from the question as to whether he were 
tonsured or not, indicates this tendency. Even Erasmus, it 
must be remembered, was once an Augustinian. Closely allied 
to the disappearance of this aid to learning was that of 
the influence of tradition which, if it held thinkers within 
narrow bounds, at the same time saved them the waste of 
energy that is the inevitable accompaniment of all new enter- 
prise. There is abundant evidence to show that the religious 
houses were so used; at Durham, Gloucester and Canterbury, 
for example, there remain traces or records of the provision for 
making books accessible and for accommodating their readers: 
and the details of the life of Erasmus, as well as those of the 
life of Thomas More, show that the most advanced scholars 
of the age numbered among their equals and competent critics 
the students of the cloister. Such a man was prior Charnock 
of Oxford, Bere, abbot of Glastonbury, and Warham, arch- 
bishop of Canterbury. Further, it must be remembered, not 
only were monastic houses in themselves homes of study, but, 
from their religious unity with the continent, they afforded 
means of communication with scholars abroad. Not only 
were the great houses the natural centres to which scholars 
came, but from them there went out to the foreign universities 
of Bologna and Pisa such religious as were in any sense special- 
ists. This, of course, practically ceased, not only because of 
the religious change, but because there were no longer rich 
corporations who could afford to send their promising pupils 
abroad. The proverbial poverty of scholars had, to a large 
extent, been mitigated by this provision. The lives of such 
men as Richard Pace show that among the religious were to 
be found generous patrons as well as professors of learning. 
Next must be reckoned the direct and indirect loss to the 
education of children. To a vast number of religious houses, 
both of monks and nuns, were attached schools in which the 
children of both poor and rich received instruction. Richard 
Whiting, for example, the last abbot of Glastonbury, numbered 
among his "family" three hundred boys whom he educated, 


The Dissolution of Religious Houses 

supporting, besides, students at the university. Every great 
abbey, practically, was the centre of education for all the 
country round; even the Benedictine nuns kept schools at- 
tended by children of gentle birth, and, except in those rare 
cases where scholarly parents themselves supervised the educa- 
tion of their children, it may be said that, for girls, these were 
the only available teachers of even the simplest elements of 
learning. The grammar schools, which are popularly sup- 
posed to have sprouted in such profusion under Edward VI, 
may be held to have been, in nearly every case, remnants of the 
old monastic foundations, and, even so, were not one tithe of 
those which had previously existed. The rest fell with the 
monasteries, and, even in places of considerable importance, 
as at Evesham, practically no substitute was provided until 
nearly a century later. Signs of this decay of learning may be 
found to some extent in the records of the universities. The 
houses fell, for the most part, about the year x 538, but they 
had been seriously threatened for three or four years previously; 
and the effect may be seen in the fact that, at Oxford, in x 535, 
one hundred and eight men graduated, while, in x536, only 
forty-four did so. Up to the end of Henry's reign, the average 
was but fifty-seven, in Edward's, thirty-three, while, during 
the revival of the old thought under Mary, it rose again as high 
as seventy. The decrease of students at Cambridge was not 
at first so formidable. This was natural, since that university 
was far more in sympathy with the new ideas than was her 
sister. But, ten years after the dissolution, a serious decrease 
showed itself. Fuller reports "a general decay of students, no 
college having more scholars therein than hardly those of the 
foundation, no volunteers at all and only persons pressed in a 
manner by their places to reside." He traces this directly to 
the fall of the religious houses. " Indeed, at the fall of the 
abbeys fell the hearts of all scholars, fearing the ruin of learn- 
ing. And those their jealousies they humbly represented in a 
bemoaning letter to king Henry VIII." The king, whose 
dislike of the old canon law had abolished the degrees in that 
faculty, so that "Gratian fared no better . . . than his brother 
Peter Lombard," took steps to amend all this by the creation 
of Regius professors in Divinity, Law, Hebrew and Greek; but 
it was not until Mary was on the throne that the number of 

Destruction of Opportunities for Study 


degrees taken yearly at Cambridge rose, once more, to their 
former minimum of eighty. Other details of the steps that 
Henry had taken to secure sound learning at Cambridge, shortly 
before the fall of the houses, while the university vas yet "very 
full of students," will be found suggestive. Thus, scholars are 
urged in his injunctions to the "study of tongues," of Aristotle, 
Rodolphus Agricola, Melanchthon and Trapezuntius, while 
Scotus, Burleus, Anthony Trombet, Bricot and Bruliferius 
are forbidden. 
Other causes, no doubt, contributed to the decrease of 
scholarship; the unrest of the age was largely inimical to serious 
study; but among these causes must be reckoned a further and 
more direct relation in which the monasteries stood towards 
the universities. At both Oxford and Cambridge were large 
establishments to which monks and friars came to finish their 
education; and, of these scholars, the numbers were so large 
that, in the century previous to the reformation, one in nine of 
all graduates seems to have been a religious. At Oxford, the 
Benedictines alone had four colleges, the Augustinians two and 
the Cistercians one. All this, then, after the first rush of the 
disbanded religious to Oxford, stopped with the dissolution, 
and the universities began to empty. In two years of Edward's 
reign, no student at all graduated at Oxford; in 55 o, Latimer, 
a fierce advocate of the new movement, laments the fact that 
there sccm" ten thousand less students than within the last 
twenty years," and remarks that "it would pity a man's heart 
to hear that I hear of the state of Cambridge"; in Mary's reign, 
Roger Edvorth pleads for the poor students who have griev- 
ously suffered from the recent changes; the study of Greek, on 
Thomas Pope's evidence, had almost ceased to exist; Anthony 
Wood mourns over the record of the decline of the arts and 
the revival of ignorance; Edward VI rebukes the unscholarli- 
hess of his own bishops. 
The estimation of the gain to learning and letters which 
followed the fall of the monasteries is more difficult to sum- 
marise, since the beginning of a new growth cannot be expected 
to produce the fruit of a mature tree. The effects must be 
more subtle and intangible, yet none the less real. And, even 
could it be accurately gauged by statistics, it would be im- 
possible to place one against the other. We cannot set a pear 

New Methods of Thought s9 

The monastic ideal was one of pruning the tree to the loss of 
luxuriance; the nev ideal was that of more generous cultiva- 
tion of the whole of human nature. 
As regards education, although, as has been seen, the years 
immediately following the crisis were years of famine--of 
destruction rather than reconstruction--they were, at the 
same time, the almost necessary prelude to greater wideness of 
thought. It was not matil three centuries later that the state, 
as distinguished from the church, took the responsibilities of 
education--for both schools and universities continued to 
remain, until nearly the present day, under clerical control-- 
but, so soon as the confusion had passed, education did, to 
some extent, begin to recover its balaiace on a new basis. 
What had been, under the system of great monastic centres, 
the province of the more studious, began, more and more, to 
be diffused among th-'rest, or, at least, to be put into more 
favourable conditions for that dissemination. The fortunes 
of Greek scholarship show a curiously waving line. That 
branch of study was introduced, together with Greek manu- 
scripts, by scholars such as prior William Tilly of Selling, who 
had become fascinated by Italian culture; but, with the general 
uprush of the classical renascence, it fell once more under 
suspicion and the pulpit began to be turned against it. With 
the fall of the monasteries, however, curiously enough, it 
nearly disappeared altogether--for example, at Oxford, though 
Wolsey himself had founded a chair for its study--and it was 
not until things were quiet that it again took its place among its 
fellows, and is to be found generally recommended for grammar 
schools along with the arts of "good manners," Latin, English, 
history, writing and even chess. Classics indeed, generally, 
when the confusion was over, found a fairer field than had 
been possible under clerical control. Pure Latin was, to a 
large extent, vitiated by its ecclesiastical rival; and Greek was 
associated vaguely in men's minds with the principles of 
Luther and the suspected nev translations of the Scriptures, 
in spite of Fisher's zeal for its study at Cambridge, and the 
return of Wakefield from Tbingen in the same cause. "Grae- 
culus," in fact, had become a colloquial synonym for "heretic" ; 
and both languages, as represented by such authors as Terence, 
Plautus and the Greek poets, were under grave suspicions as 

60 The Dissolution of Religious Houses 

being vehicles for immoral sentiments. It is true that such 
men as prior Barnes lectured on Latin authors in his Augustin- 
ian house at Cambridge, yet it was not until a few years after 
the dissolution that even the classical historians began to be 
translated into English. Friars were reported actually to 
have destroyed books that in their opinion were harmful or 
even useless. 
Another gain that compensated for the loss of the old kind 
of intercourse with Italy was, undoubtedly, to be found in the 
new connections of England with northern Europe as well as 
with the vigorous life of renascence Italy. The coming of 
such men as Bucer and Fagius to Cambridge at the invitation 
of the king, and a flood of others later, the intercourse with 
Geneva and Zrich, culminating in Mary's reign--these chan- 
nels could hardly have been opened thus freely under the old 
c,nditions; and if this exchange of ideas was primarily on 
theological subjects, yet it was not to the exclusion of others. 
So long as the religious houses preserved their prestige in the 
country at large and in the universities in particular, every 
new idea or system that was antagonistic to their ideals had 
a weight of popular distrust to contend against: the average 
Englishman saw that ecclesiastics held the field, he heard tales 
of vast monastic libraries and of monkish prodigies of learning, 
he listened to pulpit thunderings and scholastic disputations, 
while all that came from Germany and the Low Countries was 
represented by single men who held no office and won but lit- 
tle hearing. When the houses were down and their prestige 
shattered, it was but betveen man and man that he had to 
And, further, in a yet more subtle way, the dissolution actu- 
ally contributed to the prestige of the new methods of thought 
under whose predominance the fall had taken place and, under 
Elizabeth, these new methods were enforced with at least as 
much state pressure as the old system had enjoyed. There 
were, of course, other causes for the destructionthe affairs 
of the king, both domestic and political, religious differences, 
the bait of the houses' wealth--all these things conspired to 
weigh the balances down and to accomplish in England the 
iconoclasm which the renascence did not accomplish in southern 
Europe. It can hardly be said that the superior culture in 

Antiquarian Study 

England demanded a sacrifice which Italy did not demand; 
but, rather, that it found here a peculiar collocation of cir- 
cumstances and produced, therefore, peculiar results. Yet in 
men's minds the revival of learning and the fall of the monas- 
teries were inextricably associated; and the enthusiam of 
Elizabeth's reign, with its countless achievements in art and 
literature and general effectiveness, was certainly enhanced by 
the memory of that with which the movement of thirty years 
before had been busily linked. Great things had been accom- 
plished under a Tudor, an insular independence unheard of 
in the history of the country had been established; there were 
no limits then, it seemed, to vhat might be efiected in the 
future. The triumphant tone in Elizabethan writers is, surely, 
partly traceable to this line of thought--they are full of an 
enthusiasm of freedom--and, in numberless passages, Shake- 
speare's plays served to keep the thought alight. 
It can scarcely be reckoned as a gain that the dispersal of the 
libraries took place, except in one definite point, for it has been 
seen in what manner the books vere usually treated. This 
gain was the founding of the school of English antiquaries 
under John Leland,  and the concentration in their hands of 
certain kinds of manuscripts that, practically, had no existence 
except in the recesses of monastic libraries. In 1533, this 
priest was appointed king's antiquary. It was his office "to 
peruse the libraries of all cathedrals, abbeys, colleges, etc.," no 
doubt with a view to the coming dissolution; but for six years 
he travelled, and claims to have" conserved many good authors, 
the which otheravise had been like to have perished, of the which 
part remain" in the royal libraries. That there was a slight 
degree of truth in this implied reproach we have already seen; 
and it is certain that access was now made possible to many 
copies of English and classical authors, the loss of which might 
have occurred under monastic complacency, and certainly 
would have occurred under reforming zeal. " In turning over 
of the superstitious monasteries," says Bale, Leland's friend and 
editor, "little respect was had to their libraries." Others fol- 
lowed Leland in his care for antiquities of literature and history. 
Matthew Parker, says Josselin his secretary, " was very careful 
to seek out the monuments of former times. Therefore 

' See post, Chap. xv. 

62 The Dissolution of Religious Houses 

in seeking up the chronicles of the Britons and English Saxons, 
which lay hidden everywhere, contemned and buried in for- 
getfulness," as well as in editing and publishing them, Parker 
and his assistants did a good work which had scarcely been 
possible under the old system. Josselin himself helped, and 
Sir Robert Cotton's collection of Saxon charters and other 
manuscripts is one of the great founts of English history. 
It is impossible, then, with any degree of justice, to set the 
gains and the losses, resultant from the dissolution, in parallel 
columns. The former were subtle, far-reaching, immature; 
the latter were concrete, verifiable and sentimental. Rather, 
until some definition of progress be agreed upon by all men, 
we are only safe in saying that, from the purely intellectual 
side, while the injury to the education of those who lived at the 
time, and the loss of innumerable books, antiquities and 
traditions for all time, are lamentable beyond controversy, 
yet, by the diffusion of general knowledge, by the widening of 
the limits of learning and philosophy, by the impetus given 
to independent research, art and literature, and by the removal 
of unjustifiable prejudice, we are the inheritors of a treasure that 
could hardly have been ours without the payment of a heavy 

64 Alexander Barclay 

Barclay's death. Like the French primer, it was made at the 
suggestion of Thomas, duke of Norfolk, Barclay's patron. In 
earlier days he owed much to bishop Cornish, provost of Oriel 
College, Oxford, who made him chaplain of the college of 
Ottery St. Mary, Devonshire. This living he probably held 
for some years, and, during this time, he completed his best 
known work, the translation of Brant's famous satirical al- 
legory. The Ship of Fools, published first by Pynson in 1509, 
was dedicated, out of gratitude, to the said bishop. When he 
translated The lIyrrour of Good ,llaners, about 1523, from the 
Latin of Dominicus Mancinus, Barclay xvas a monk at Ely. 
There he had probably written also his Eclogues, the Itro&c- 
tory, the Sallust and the lost Life of St. George. The preface 
of The .lI.vrrour not only shows that Barclay felt somewhat 
depressed at that time, but it also contains the interesting 
statement, that, "the righte worshipfull Syr Giles Alington, 
Knight," for whom the translation was made, had desired at 
first a modernised version of Gower's Confessio Amanlis, a 
task Barclay declined as unsuitable to his age and profession. 
He must have been fairly well known at this time; for, accord- 
ing to a letter of Sir Nicholas Vaux to Wolsey, dated io April, 
 52o, he is to be asked, "to devise histoires and convenient 
raisons to florisshe the buildings and banquet house withal" at 
the meeting of Henry VIII and Francis I, known as the Field 
of the Cloth of Gold. In this letter, Barclay is spoken of as 
" the black monk"; but, later, he left the Benedictines for the 
stricter order of the Franciscans in Canterbury. There he 
may have written the Life o] St. Thomas of Canterbttry, at- 
tributed to him by Bale. Besides the works mentioned 
already, Barclay seems to have written other lives of saints, 
some sermons and a few other books to which reference will 
be made. 
What became of him after the dissolution of the monas- 
teries, in i539 , is not known. An ardent champion of the 
catholic faith, who had written a book de fide orthodoxa, as 
well as another on the oppression of the church by the French 
king, he probably found it hard to adapt himself to the altered 
circumstances of the times. But the years of adversity and 
hardship were followed at last by a short time of prosperity. 
In i546, he was instituted to the vicarage of Great Baddow, 

66 Alexander Barclay 

induce them to mend their ways by demonstrating the absurd- 
ity or the evil consequences of their follies. His wit was not 
very striking, his satire rather innocent and tame, his morality 
somewhat shallow and his language not very eloquent. But 
he was in deadly earnest about his task and had a remarkable 
talent for observation. His pictures of contemporary life were 
always true, and often vivid and striking. Besides, there were 
the splendid woodcuts, done in a Hogarthian spirit, which 
helped to render the whole livelier and more dramatic, even 
where the words were a little dull. He thought, of course, 
mainly of his fellow-countrymen; but most of the follies and 
vices which he blamed and satirised were spread all over 
Europe, and the general feeling of discontent peculiar to that 
time of transition was extremely well expressed in the 
book. In spite of his /earning, Brant was, decidedly, a 
son of the olden time. He does not insist upon reforms, 
but he tries to patch up. With all its reactionary spirit, 
Das Narrenschiff enjoyed a vast popularity and ran through 
many editions. Geiler yon Kaisersberg made its matter 
the subject of 2 sermons, and it influenced the writings 
of such men as Murner and Erasmus. Within three years 
after its first appearance, it was translated into Latin by 
Brant's friend Locher, and then into almost every European 
Barclay, probably, first became acquainted with it through 
the Latin version, which was soon as popular in England as 
ever3'here else. His translation, published in 5o9, was al- 
most the last in verse to appear, and was followed in the same 
year by a prose translation by Henry Watson from the French 
version of Jehan Droyn. In the preface, Barclay states that 
he used Locher's translation as well as the French and German 
versions. In the original edition, Locher's text is printed in 
front of the English translation, and Cawood's edition of 57 o 
even puts on the title "translated out of Latin into Englishe." 
Careful comparison has shown that Barclay follows chiefly 
the Latin version, but that he made use of the French version 
by Pierre Rivire (Paris, 497), which was founded on Locher 
also, and that he used at the same time, though in a much less 
degree, the German original. For one of the last chapters of 
his book he seems to be indebted to Jodocus Badius, whereas 

Barclay's Additions to Brant 67 

the ballad in honour of the Virgin .[ary at the end is probably 
his own. 1 
According to his prologue, he desired "to redres the errours 
and vyces of this our royalme of Englande, as the foresayde com- 
poser and translatours hath done in theyr contrees." Them- 
fore, he followed his author " in sentence" rather than vord, 
and it is very interesting to see how he added here and abridged 
there, to suit his English public and his personal taste. On the 
whole, he was inclined to a certain diffuseness and wordiness. 
He tells us that Pynson, his publisher, who, apparently, knew 
him well, vas afraid from the very beginning that the book 
might become rather bulky, and entreated him not to pack too 
many fools into his ship. As it is, Barclay's translation is two 
and a half times as long as his Latin original, namely fourteen 
thousand and thirty-four lines. 2 This is partly due to the 
metre, the heroic seven-lined stanza, which forms a curious 
contrast to the unpretending matter and is handled sometimes 
a little stiffly. The language is very plain and simple, as Bar- 
clay meant to write not for learned men but for the common 
people. A fexv Scots xvords betray the author's nationality. 
Whereas the learned Locher had obliterated the popular spirit 
of Brant's work, Barclay sought to intensify it by cutting out 
many classical references, exchanging unknown instances for 
such as were more familiar, introducing new comparisons and 
so on. He often makes remarks on the woodcuts, and tries 
still further to give character to the various kinds of fools. If 
Locher had endeavoured to work out the allegory of the ship 
a little better than Brant, Barclay, following English literary 
taste, went further in the same direction and tried to make the 
whole more coherent. He was very fond of philosophical 
and religious reflections and admonitions, which he added 
freely, particularly in the envoys to each chapter. Locher 
had left out many of Brant's proverbs; Barclay introduces a 
great many that are new. 
There are a few personal touches in The Ship o Fools. 
Barclay, like Brant, twice describes himself as the steersman of 
his ship, which is bound for some English harbour, though it 
I CI. Fraustadt, Ober das Verhdltnis yon Barclay's "'Skip o] Fools "" zur 
lat., [ranz. u. deutschen Quelle. 
 Brant has 7o34, Locher 5672 lines. 

Barclay's "Eclogues" 7i 

The argument of the fifth Eclogte, called Tlw Cytezen and 
Uplondyshrnan, is as follows. Amyntas, a shepherd, who, 
after a life of doubtful reputation and success in London, has 
been compelled to retire to the country, and Faustus, another 
shepherd, his poor but always contented comrade, who comes 
to town only on market days and prefers a simple village life, 
lie together in the warm straw on a cold winter day. They 
begin to talk "of the dyversyte of rural1 husbondes, and men 
of the cyte." Faustus accuses and blames the townspeople, 
Amyntas the peasants. Amyntas, who counts himself the 
better man, begins with a description of winter with its disad- 
vantages and pleasures. For poor people it is very bad, says 
Faustus, asserting that, whereas peasants have to suffer in 
winter for their improvidence, townspeople, luckier and wiser, 
live in abundance. Amyntas opposes him. Townsfolk are 
even more foolish than shepherds, only they are favoured by 
fortune. When Faustus suddenly turns ambitious and wants 
to become a great man, Amyntas reproves him and tells a 
story showing hoxv God himself ordained the difference of 
ranks among men. One day, when Adam was afield and Eve 
sat at home among her children, God demanded to see them. 
Ashamed of there being so many, Eve hides some of them under 
hay and straw, in the chimney and in other unsavoury places. 
The others she shows to the Lord, who is very kind to them and 
presents them with various gifts. The eldest he makes an 
emperor, the second a king, the third a duke and so on. Full 
of joy, Eve now fetches the rest. But they look so dirty and 
are othera'ise so disagreeable, that the Lord is disgusted and con- 
demns them to live in drudgery and endless servitude. Thus 
began the difference of honour and bondage, of town and village. 
laustus, highly indignant, suspects that the story has been 
invented by malicious townspeople out of scorn for poor 
shepherds, and tells another story, showing that many well 
known people, from Abel to Jesus Christ, have been shepherds 
and that the Lord always held shepherds in particular favour. 
Then he denounces the town as the home of all wickedness and 
cause of all evils. Sometimes he is interrupted by Amyntas, 
who wonders whence he got all his knowledge, and charges 
him with exaggeration. In the end, Faustus congratulates 
himself on living in the country, untouched by the vices of 

Barclay's "Eclogues" 73 

The most interesting feature of the poem is the introduction 
of the two songs--a trick, however, used already by lXIantuan 
in one of his eclogues. The style of the two songs is purely 
In Barclay's first three Eclogtes, the form only is taken 
from Mantuan, the matter, as we have said above, from Aeneas 
Sylvius's Tractatus de curialium ziseriis, a treatise in which the 
ambitious churchman expresses his disappointments. Never- 
theless, here also Barclay owes a good deal to Mantuan in 
characterisation as well as in detail. 
In the first, Coridon, a young shepherd, who wants to try 
his luck at court, is warned against doing so by his companion 
Cornix, who proves to him " that all such courtiers do live in 
misery, which ser'e in the court for honour, laude or fame, and 
might or power." A threatening storm compels the pair to 
break off their conversation. 
In the second Eclogue it is taken up again. They speak of 
the court, and "what pleasure is there sene with the fyve wittes, 
beginning at the eyne." In a long dialogue on the discomforts 
of courtiers, it is shown that whosoever hopes for pleasure at 
court is certain to be disappointed. Barclay follows his source 
very closely here; and, if in the first Eclogue we do not quite see 
what a simple shepherd wants to do at the court, in the second 
we are as much surprised as is good Coridon himself to hear 
Cronix quote classical authors. 
The third Eclogue completes the conversation with an 
exceedingly vivid description of the courtiers' undesirable and 
filthy dwellings. Bribery, in the case of influential officials 
and impudent servants, is mentioned, the evils of war and 
town life are dwelt upon, nepotism is blamed, and it is 
shown that court life spoils the character, and hinders a man 
from reading and studying. Coridon is convinced, at last, 
that he is much more comfortable in his present condition, 
and gives up his idea of going to court. 
Whereas, in the translation of The Ship o] Fools, Barclay 
often carefully tones down the strong language of the original, 
he is not so particular in his Eclogues. On the whole, their tone 
is that of renascence eclogues in general, i.e. satire on the times, 
under the veil of allegory. So we find it with Petrarch and 
Mantuan, so with Boccaccio and the other Italian writers of 

74 Alexander Barclay 

bucolic poetry, so in Spain and, later, in France in the case of 
Clement Marot, who, again, exercised a great influence on 
English pastoral poetry. But, besides these modern influ- 
ences, we find throughout that of Vergil, who first introduced 
moral and satirical elements into bucolic poetry. 
There are, also, some personal touches in Barclay's Eclogues. 
In the first, he excepts with due loyalty the court of Henry 
VI I, "which howe departed late," and that of Henry VII I, from 
all the miseries of which he is going to speak. There is, further, 
a moving passage describing how Barclay, on a fine May morn- 
ing, visited Ely cathedral, where he laments the death of his 
patron, bishop Alcock. Another patron, bishop Morton, is 
mentioned in Eclogues III and IV. In the latter, he refers also 
to the " Dean of Powles," Colet, as a good preacher. 
In spite of their interest and in spite of the fact that Cawood 
appended them to his edition of The Ship o] Fools, in x57o, 
Barclay's Eclogues were soon forgotten. Spenser ignores them 
as he ignores other earlier attempts at pastoral poetry. In the 
dedication of The Shepheards Caleuter,  579, we are simply told 
that the poet has chosen this poetical form "to furnish our 
tongue with this kinde, wherein it faulteth." Spenser's con- 
temporaries, with whom pastoral poetry became fashionable 
under Italian influence, praised him as the father of the English 
eclogue, and had completely forgotten that, more than sixty 
years before, Barclay had sought for the first time to introduce 
the eclogue into English literature. 
Barclay never wrote without a moral, didactic or satirical 
purpose, and his conception of literature was narrow. He was 
certainly not an original writer; but he was a steady and con- 
scientious vorker, who did some useful work as a translator of 
classical and other literature, and set out on some tracks never 
followed by English writers before him. In The Ship o] Fools, 
and still more in his Eclogues, he handled his originals with 
remarkable freedom, and his attempts to meet the taste of his 
readers make these, his main works, exceedingly interesting as 
pictures of contemporary. English life. As a scholar, he repre- 
sents medieval, rather than renascence, ideals; as a man, he 
was modest and grateful to his friends and patrons; and his 
writings, as well as his will, prove him a kind-hearted friend of 
the poor. 

7 6 John Skelton 

He was well acquainted with French, and, in his Garlande o 
Latrell, he speaks of having translated O/ Mannes Lyre the 
Peregrynacioun in prose, out of the French, probably for 
lIargaret, countess of Richmond and Derby, mother of Henry 
VII, on whose death, 29 June, i5o 9, he wrote a Latin elegy. 
His knowledge of classical, particularly Latin, literature must 
have been very extensive. In his Garlaute o La2rell, he 
mentions almost all the more important Latin and Greek 
authors, and, on the whole, shows a fair judgment of them. 
His knowledge of Greek was, perhaps, not deep. 1 Some 
passages in Speke, Parrot even indicate that he did not much 
approve of the study of Greek, then being energetically pur- 
sued at Oxford. He there complains, also, of the decay of 
scholastic education and ridicules ignorant and pedantic 
philologists. He was particularly fond of the old satirists, and 
Juvenal seems to have been his special favourite. His poetry, 
however, does not betray any classical influences. With the 
Italian poets of the renascence he was, apparently, less familiar. 
He speaks of "Johun Bochas with his volumys grete" (G. of L. 
364), and mentions Petrarch and old Plutarch together as 
"two famous clarkis" (ibid. 379)- 
English literature he knew best. In Phyllyp Sparowe, he 
judges Gower, Chaucer and Lydgate fairly well and lays stress 
particularly on Chaucer's mastership of the English language, 
whereas he calls Gower's English old-fashioned. On the other 
hand, he places Lydgate on the same level with the two older 
poets, finding fault only with the darkness of his language. 
He was extremely well versed in popular literature, and refers 
to it often. Guy of Warwick, Gawain, Lancelot, Tristram and 
all the other heroes of popular romance, were well known to 
him. We also find in his writings many allusions to popular 
songs, now partly unknown. He had himself written a Robin 
Hood pageant, to xvhich Barclay alludes scornfully and which 
is also referred to later by Anthony Munday. - When, and 
how long, Skelton stayed at court, we cannot tell. In a 
special poem he boasts that he had a white and green garment 
 His translation of Diodorus Siculus is done from the Latin version of 
Poggio, first printed x47. 
 Cf. Brie, "Skelton-Studien," in Engl. Stud. xxxvii, pp. 35 if-; the figure 
of Skelton appears in !Iunday's DownIall o[ Robert Earl o[ Huntingdon, and 
in Ben Jonson's Fortunate Isles. 

Skelton as a Poet 77 

embroidered with the name "Calliope" given him by the king; 
but, as the official documents never mention his name, it is not 
likely that he ever stood in any closer relation to the court after 
his pupil had come to the throne. That he must have been 
there occasionally is proved by the poems against Garnesche. 
Skdton was rector of Diss in  507, and held this office nominally 
till his death in x529, when his successor is mentioned. Some 
of his poems certainly were written there; but, in others, 
particularly in his later satires, he shows himself so well ac- 
quainted with the sentiments of the London people that he 
must, at least, have visited the capital frequently. There is 
a tradition that Skelton was not very much liked by his 
parishioners on account of his erratic nature, and that he had 
quarrels with the Dominicans, who denounced him spitefully 
to the bishop of Norwich for being married, t 
Of Skelton's patrons, besides members of the royal family, 
the countess of Surrey, at whose castle, Sheriff Hutton, he wrote 
his Garlmute of Laurell (c. 52o), may be mentioned. As the 
dedications of some of Skelton's works to cardinal Wolsey are 
later additions of the publishers,2 it is doubtful if the omnipo- 
tent minister of Henry VIII was his patron too. In any case, 
Skelton attacked him from about 59, 3 and so unsparingly 
that he was at last compelled to take sanctuary at Westmin- 
ster with his friend abbot Islip. There he remained until his 
death,   June,  529. He was buried in St. Margaret's Church, 
Westminster; but no trace is left of his tomb. 
As a poet, Skelton is extremely versatile. He practised his 
pen in almost every kind of poetry. Unfortunately, many of 
his works are lost. We know them only from the enumeration 
in the Garlaute of Laurell (  70 ft.) ; and even this is incomplete, 
as the author self-complacently states. In many cases the 
titles given there do not even enable us to draw any conclusions 
as to their contents or character. Even his extant works offer 
many difficultiessometimes to be met by conjecture only 
as regards interpretation and chronology. First editions are 
missing in most cases, and, owing probably to their personal 
and satirical character, some of the poems must have circu- 

Cf. Merle Tales oJ Skelton (564). 
Cf. Brie, pp. xx ft. 
But cf. Ramsay, Magnificence, pp. cvi ft. 

"Phyllyp Sparowe" 79 

the Erle of Northumberlande, killed by Northumbrian rebels 
on 28 April, 1489 . 
Skelton admired Henry VII, but he did not ignore his 
weaknesses. In a Latin epitaph he laments the king's death 
and praises him as a successful politician, but he alludes also 
to the avarice which made the first Tudor unpopular with 
his subjects. The general feeling of relief after Henry VII's 
death reveals itself in Eulogium pro suorum temporum con- 
ditione, written in the beginning of Henry VIII's reign. Skel- 
ton expected much of the young monarch, whom he praises 
in A Lawde and Prayse made for our Sovereigne Lord the Kyng, 
and especially at the end of the poem mentioned above on 
the victory over the duke of Albany. 
Skelton knew, also, how to glorify noble ladies, especially 
when they patronised him and flattered his vanity. Most of 
his poems in this vein are inserted in The Garlande of Lattrell, an 
allegorical poem, full of grotesque self-glorification, and telling 
how Skelton is summoned before lady Pallas, to prove himself 
worthy of his name's being" regestred with lawreate tryumphe." 
Among the crowd of all the great poets of the world he meets 
Gower, Chaucer and Lydgate, and is at last crowned with a 
"cronell of lawrell" by the countess of Surrey and her ladies. 
The Garlande o Laurell is a very long poem, of 16oo lines, 
built up with motives from Chaucer's House of Fame and the 
Prologue of the Legend of Good IVomen, and Skelton's self- 
conceit shovn therein is not relieved by any touch of humour. 
The eleven little lyrics in praise of the poet's patroness and 
her ladies are somewhat monotonous; but they have a certain 
grace and are good examples of conventional poetry. Skel- 
ton's originality is more evident in Phyllyp Sparowe, a poem 
addressed to Jane Scroupe, a young lady who was a pupil of 
the black nuns at Carow, and whose pet sparrov had been 
killed by a cat. The bird is pictured at great length and its 
mistress's grief described in exaggerated language. All the 
birds under the sky are summoned to the burial, and each one 
there is appointed to its special office. Amongst the mourners 
we find our old friend Chaunteclere and his wife Pertelote from 
Chaucer's Nun's Priest's Tale, and the fabulous Phoenix, as 
described by Pliny. The sparrow's soul is recommended to 
God and Jupiter. To compose an epitaph for him proves too 

80 John Skelton 

much for Jane, who, however, shows herself a well read young 
lady. The second part of the poem, connected rather loosely 
vith the first, is a praise of the heroine in the typical manner. 
There is no clear design in the poem. Skelton seems quite 
unable, or umvilling, to stick to his theme. The whole is an 
odd medley of the most incongruous ideas, full of literary 
reminiscences and long digressions, which, very often, have no 
relation to the subject. But the short and lively metre is very 
effective and keeps up the attention throughout. The "ad- 
dition" shows that there were people who did not like this sort 
of poetry, especially as the ceremonial of the requiem is used 
for comic purposes in a manner that must have shocked pious 
souls. Barclay had mentioned the poem scornfully at the end 
of his Ship o] Fools and the "addition" seems to be Skelton's 
reply. 1 Barclay's allusion proves that Phyllyp Sparave was 
written before i5o8. 
There are other poems of Skelton, written for ladies with 
whom he was acquainted, as conventional and insincere as are 
other productions of their kind. One of them even ends with 
the laconic remark: "at the instance of a nobyll lady." Who 
the lady was, we cannot tell; but another of Skelton's friends 
was "mastres Anne, that farly swete, that wonnes at the Key 
in Temmys strete," with whom the poet must once have been 
on very. good terms. Of his "pretty lines" to her, 2 none are 
extant; but there are two poems in which he treats her in a 
different fashion, evidently because she had slighted him and 
had chosen a new lover. 3 Another poem, caused by a similar 
disappointment, describes the once beloved lady at first very 
eloquently and then, all of a sudden, takes a sarcastic turn. 
The satirical poem " My darlyng dere, my daysy floure" is very 
impressive and a most happy attempt to write in a popular 
As we have seen already, it was not advisable to rouse 
Skelton's anger. Vain and irritable, he was bent on quarrel- 
ling with everybody, especially when his pride in his knowledge 
or academic honours was hurt. Besides the quarrel with Lily: 
mentioned above, he had an encounter with the French his- 

I Cf. also G. o[ L. I257 f. 2 G. o[ L. I240 f. 
3 One of the two poems has been found only lately by Brie and is published 
in his Skclton-Studicn, p. 29. 

Obscure Poems 

torian Gaguin (G. o/ L. 374 if-, 87).' One of Skelton's 
satirical productions, now lost, Apollo that whirrlyd ,,p his chafe 
(G. of L. 471 ft.), seems to have particularly annoyed certain 
people. Skelton himself, wonderful to relate, is sorry for 
having written it. The somewhat loosely constructed poem 
Against venemous to,gues is xvorth mentioning only as the 
expression of personal experience. 
There are other poems showing how dangerous it was to 
offend Skelton or to be disliked by him. When he was rector 
of Diss, he punished two" knaves" of his parish who had shown 
disrespect to him and did not go to church (G. of L. 247 ft.), 
by composing a very unflattering epitaph for them. In a 
similar strain is the epitaph In Bedel. In these poems, 
church rites are travestied as in Plo, lly p .Sparowe. In ll'are 
the Hauke, Skelton censures a parson who had profaned his 
church by baiting a havk in it. Except for its length and 
exaggerated language, the poem is not remarkable. Two 
other obscure poems, apparently directed against certain 
musicians or minstrels may also be mentioned. 
All the poems referred to above show that Skelton had 
an amazingly large stock of abusive terms. But by far 
the best examples of his talent in this direction are his 
poems against the royal chamberlain Christopher Garnesche, 
who, at the king's command, had challenged him. Unfor- 
tunately, the poems of Skelton's adversary, which might have 
thrown some light on the poet's biography, especially on his 
relation to the court, are not extant. He abuses the chamber- 
lain violently, using the strongest expressions imaginable and 
the most grotesque comparisons. That the whole was not 
a serious affair is repeatedly stated in the poems. It was 
nothing but an imitation of the Flyting of Duibar aM Kennedy, 
composed 5o45, and printed in 5o8, and, like its model, 
is an interesting instance of the coarse vituperation common 
to the time. 
Remarkable, also, for its coarseness is The T,nnyng of 
Ely,unr Rmmny,g, a fantastical description of an old ale-wife 
and her guests. Again, there is no plan to be discerned; but, 
sometimes, a sort of dramatic action is suggested, as the tipsy 
women come and go, misbehave themselves, chat and quarrel, 
 Brie, p. 3 - 
VOL. I!1.4. 

82 John Skelton 

or are turned out. There are some touches of humour in the 
poem; but it is drawn out too long and many accessories 
render it somewhat monotonous. The metre is the same 
short verse as in Phyllyp Sparmve. 
The poems against Garnesche were not the only fruit of 
Skelton's sojourn at the court. As we have said before, it is 
not likely that he stayed there for any length of time after 
the accession of his former pupil; but, in any case, he must 
have seen a good deal of court life when he was the prince's 
tutor. Very soon after that time, probably, he set forth his 
unfavourable impressions in The Bowge of Corte, an allegorical 
poem, written in Chaucer's seven-lined stanza. 
In a lengthy prologue, Skelton tells how he wanted to 
compete with the old poets, but was discouraged by Ignor- 
aunce. He falls asleep in his host's house, " Powers Keye" at 
" Haravyche Port," and has a strange dream. A stately ship 
enters the harbour and casts anchor. Merchants go aboard 
to examine the costly freight, and, with them, the poet, who 
does not perceive a single acquaintance among the noisy 
crowd. The name of the ship is " Bowge of Courte" (free 
board at the king's table) ; her owner is the noble lady Saunce- 
pere, rich and desirable is her merchandise, Favour, but also 
very dear. There is a general press to see the beautiful 
lady, who sits on a magnificent throne inscribed with the 
words " Garder le ortune que est mauelz et bone." Addressed 
harshly by Daunger, the lady's chief waiting-woman, the poet, 
who introduces himself as Drede, feels crushed; but another 
gentlewoman, Desire, cheers him up and presents him with 
the helpful jewel Bone Aventure. She further advises him to 
make friends with Fortune, a somewhat capricious lady of 
great influence. Drede feels rather uneasy from the very 
beginning, but, like the rest, asks her favour, which she gives 
to them all. 
The ship goes to sea with full sails. All seems well, until 
Drede notices aboard seven " full subtyll persons," all old 
friends of Fortune. They bluntly decline any communication 
with the stranger, whom, nevertheless, they approach, one 
after the other, trying, each in his own way, to deceive and 
to harm him. Most of them hide their hatred and jealousy 
under the mask of disinterested friendship, play the humble 

"The Bowge of Courte" 83 

admirer of his superior scholarship, warn him against supposed 
foes, promise their help and prophesy for him a brilliant career. 
The only exception is Dysdayne, a haughty, objectionable 
fellow, who shows his aversion openly by picking a quarrel 
with him. Behind his back, they all join to ruin the incon- 
venient new-comer, who notices their whisperings together 
with increasing misgivings. The last of the seven is still 
speaking to him, when, all of a sudden, he sees "lewde felawes" 
rushing upon him from all sides with murderous purpose. 
In an agony of fear, he seizes the ship-board to leap into the 
water, wakes up and writes his "lytyll boke." In a concluding 
stanza, the poet affirms his good intention. What he has 
written was a dream--but sometimes there is some truth 
in dreams ! 
The poem may have been written a little before x5o9. 
At all events it is one of Skelton's earlier productions, for he 
would not have used the allegorical framework for satirical 
purposes at a later time. His handling of the traditional form 
is here highly original. The seven figures are not of the usual 
bloodless kind of personified abstractions, but more like types 
taken from real life; and, even if one is not inclined to admit 
the direct influence of Brant on Skelton in this poem, their 
strong resemblance to the courtiers in Tke 5kip of Fools is not 
to be denied. The characterisation shows a powerful imagina- 
tion, combined with a strong talent for description. Even the 
recurrence of the same motives does not impair the strong 
impression of the whole, and there are none of the tiresome 
digressions here of which Skelton seems enamoured in other 
poems. Almost dramatic life pervades the whole poem, which 
is called by Warton, very appropriately, a poem " in the manner 
of a pageant." With all its personal or traditional features, 
The Bowge of Ccmrte is a classic satire on court life. 
In Colyn Clout, written about 59, we are told by Colyn, 
the roaming vagabond, that everything is wrong in England 
and that the clergy are to blame for it. The bishops do not 
look after their flocks, but strive after worldly honours and 
promotion by every means. Haughty, covetous and ignorant, 
they set a bad example to all the rest, are fond of hunting and 
hawking and live in luxury, whereas the poor people starve. 
The worst are the upstart prelates, whose former poor lives 

88 John Skelton 

spite of its obvious shortcomings, the play holds an im- 
portant place in the history of English drama. It marks the 
transition from the older purely religious moralities to the 
secular allegorical drama. 1 
Skelton has often been judged too severely for the coarseness 
of some of his poems. Pope was particularly hard on him. On 
the other hand, such men as Southey and the elder Disraeli 
liked his "ragged" rime and found some pith in it. His poetic 
production shows an extraordinary variety. He moves with 
ease, sometimes even with mastership, in all the traditionM 
forms of poetry. In his longer poems he is very original, 
particularly where he uses his characteristic style, the short 
"breathless rimes," not unknown before him, but never used so 
largely and effectively as by him. Sometimes they literally 
chase along, and the reader is carried away by them. A good 
specimen of Skeltonic verse is the beginning of Colyn Chmt: 

What can it avayle 
To dryve forth a snayle, 
Or to make a sayle 
Of an herynges tayle, 
To ryme or to rayle, 
To wryte or to indyte, 
Eyther for delyte 
Or elles for despyte; 
Or bokes to compyle 
Of dyvers manet style, 
Vyce to revyle 
And synne to exyle; 
To teche or to preche, 
As reason wyll reche ? 

Lack of constructive power often spoils the impression of 
Skelton's poems; but this deficiency is made up for in many 
cases by an immense vivacity and by the originality of the 
ideas. His satires against the clergy in general, and, particu- 
larly, those against Wolsey, are remarkable for their boldness. 
Of all the poetical successors of Chaucer in England Skelton 
is by far the most original. 

Compared with The Ship oy Fools, most of the other con- 

Ramsay, pp. x ft., lxxi ft. 

Early German Influences 

C. I 5 I O (.}), we have a very free prose version of a South German 
original, but taken, probably, from a more copious Dutch prose 
narrative. Of Howleglass, something is said in the chapter 
which follows this. Copland's versions of the feats of Eulen- 
spiegel, the best known representative of German low life of 
the time, printed between 559 and 563, were thought the 
oldest ones, until, a few years ago, there was found a short 
fragment of a much older one, printed by John of Doesborch 
 56-2o. It is a very clumsy translation, full of misunder- 
standings, taken not from one of the High German versions but 
from a lost Low German original, t 
Exposing the coarseness of his time, Brant, in Das Narren- 
schif], created a new saint, Grobianus, who soon became the 
typical representative of rude and indecent behaviour, particu- 
larly at table. He must have been a very popular figure when, 
ill i549, a young student of Wittenberg, F. Dedekind, wrote 
his Latin Grobiamts, which was translated (55i) by Caspar 
Scheidt into German with considerable additions. A new 
version by Dedekind, Grobianzts et Grobiana, in which the 
hero has a female companion, followed in i552. The book 
enjoyed a vast popularity, not only in Germany, but also in 
France and England. In  605, Grobiams was translated into 
English as The Schoole o Slovenrie. Traces of grobianism 
can be found in Dekker's Gul's Hornbooke (6o9). The figure 
of Grobianus appears utterly transformed in the interlude 
Grobiam's Nuptials, where it has become the type of the Ox- 
ford man of Jacobean time with his affectation of simplicity. 
Dedekind's book was appreciated in England even so late as 
the eighteenth century, and it was certainly not by chance that 
a new translation of it, which appeared in 1739, was dedicated 
to Swift. 
t Cf. Brie, "Eulenspiegel in England," Palaestra, xxvxx. 

9 6 Progress of Social Literature in Tudor Times 

her contempt are either the people who cannot take their place 
in life--who quarrel without cause, who borrow without pay- 
ing back, who trample needlessly on their fellows in advancing 
their own interests---or those who neglect their own interests 
to serve others. 
Th.c Testament of Mr. Andro Kennedy, 15o8, to which re- 
ference has been made in a previous volume, t was possibly 
influenced by Le Testament de Taste Vin (c. 1488), or both 
were influenced by earlier drinking songs; just as Taste Vin de- 
crees his body to be buried under the floor of a tavern, Kennedy 
leaves his soul to his lord's wine-cellar. The poem is an in- 
teresting specimen of macaronic verse devoted to personal 
satire. But the most important production of this class is 
Colin Blowbol's Testament. Colin, just recovering from an 
appalling surfeit, and looking "pale of hew like a drowned 
rat," espies an equivocal confessor, through whose agency a 
will is finally composed, in which the drunkard bequeaths his 
soul to Diana (as goddess of the salt seas, in which he expects 
to do penance for his unflagging indulgence in sweet wine); 
his lands to the notorious district of "Southwerke"; six marks 
of spruce to his secretary, "registered a brother in the order of 
folly"; and a sum to defray a Gargantuan burial feast to be 
held in a labyrinth such as Daedalus built (this part of the 
description is reminiscent of Ovid and Apollodorus). A sense 
of discrimination in character is shown by the provision of 
a dais for those who wax boastfully loquacious in liquor, a 
lower table for those 'ho become maudlin and foolish and a 
third for brawlers over their cups. Just as Cocke Lorell con- 
tains a list of sixteenth century trades, so this tract enumerates 
thirty-two kinds of wines anciently in vogue. Blowbol means 
a drunkard, and the tract is a parody of more serious things in 
honour of drink. The original manuscript, as we have it, is 
badly written and the composition shows traces of confusion 
or carelessness. Yet the production is worth notice because 
of the unmistakable evidence it bears to the growing interest 
in character and in discrimination of types. 
This fashion of writing mock testaments appears to have 
become popular. Evidence of its influence on the new court 
poetry is found in such love complaints as The Testanwnt of the 
 See Vol. II, p. 291. 

Satires and Disquisitions on Women 99 

traditional character I (possibly suggested by the "woman of 
Samaria") who has married and cheerfully buried five hus- 
bands in quick succession. An anonymous satirist has cleverly 
crowded all the vices of the middle-class wife into a career of 
this type in a half moral, half burlesque poem The boke of 
Mayd E,nlyn. Emlyn's character is vigorously portrayed. 
She is one of those women who dress gaily, get drunk at taverns, 
dally with gallants and fling the nearest articles at their hus- 
bands when they remonstrate. She is a female Bluebeard, 
driving her husbands to suicide or disposing of them by direct 
murder and, after each bereavement, she goes into deep 
mourning, on one occasion keeping an onion in her handker- 
chief to stimulate tears. One of her intrigues leads her and 
her paramour to the stocks, where, true to her character, she 
immensely enjoys her publicity. Emlyn finally takes up her 
residence at the stews, and the story closes with a glimpse of 
the wretched woman begging her bread in her old age. 
Sometimes the career of the ale-house adventuress throws 
light on the different types of society, as in the IV/dow Edith. 
In twelve "mery gestys" this ingenious personage imposes on 
all classes by appearing to be in temporary distress and an- 
nouncing that she is a lady of considerable wealth. The tale 
was evidently written to please the commons, and it is full of 
the character drawing they love. Edith lodges with poor 
people and we see something of their homely cheer and good 
nature. She encounters a doctor of divinity who holds forth 
on the covetousness of men and most willingly absolves her 
when he hears of her wealth. She meets two pilgrims; the 
satirist discloses their weakness, which is not love of money 
but vainglorying in good works, so Edith attempts suicide and 
gives them the satisfaction of saving her. The career of the 
adventuress leads her into the households of great men, where 
the head servants fall in love with her alleged fortune. There 
are admirable touches of character in the scene in which the 
earl of Arundel's yeomen escort her to her home and improve 
the occasion by courting her wealth. The tract purports to be 
' The grief of newly bereaved wives and their readiness to be consoled was 
a commonplace as early as Gautier Le Long's La Veuve (twelfth or thirteenth 
century), and may, perhaps, help to explain the scene between the duke of 
Gloster and lady Anne in Richard III (Act , se. ). Cf., also, The Wile o[ 

Progress of Social Literature in Tudor Times 

were forced to become vagabonds or seek a livelihood in manu- 
facturing industries, thus further disorganising the labour 
market; and, all this while, the reckless extravagance of the 
court raised the general cost of living, and the debasement 
of the currency and increase of taxation made poverty more 
Amid such disorder and suffering the modem spirit of com- 
petition was ushered into the world, and contemporary litera- 
ture could see little but evil in the period of transition. It 
was especially the spectacle of men trampling on one another 
in the struggle for wealth which roused Robert Crowley from 
the production of controversial and religious tracts. CroMey 
was a printer, a puritan and a famous preacher. Most of his 
pamphlets, sermons and answers are composed for theologians; 
but the reading public was sufficiently large and the influence 
of the press sufficiently universal to make it worth his while 
to address the whole commons of the realm in five popular 
tracts. In i55o, he boldly exposed the more glaring social 
and moral abuses of the time in a series of short verse essays, 
arranged in alphabetical order and entitled The one aut thirty 
epigrams. But, in spite of these devices, his standpoint re- 
mains that of a Hebrewprophet and his style that of a preacher. 
In The Voice of the Last Trumpet, which appeared in the same 
year, he shows even more clearly how far his sectarian train- 
ing had unfitted him to handle problems of progress or social 
reform. The tract is a methodical appeal to the different 
classes to lay aside their peculiar sins; his view is still that of 
the Middle Ages, and God is supposed to have placed barriers 
between the classes  which no individual can cross without sin. 
CroMey warns his readers not to stray from their class, but 
to let the gentry cultivate learning, the commons obedience, 
and all will be well. In x 55 o, he also printed Tlw way to wealth, 
a graphic and searching enquiry into the mutual hatred and 
distrust which existed between the rich and the poor, showing 
how peasants attribute the late seditions to farmers, graziers, 
lawyers, merchants, gentlemen, knights and lords, while the 

, Even in Dances of Death, such as that painted on the wall of the church 
of La Chaise Dieu in Auvergne, and that at Basel, each individual takes 
precedence according to his class. Wright, T., History o Caricature and 
Grotesque, chap. x. 

I 14 Progress of Social Literature in Tudor Times 

The historic class of outlaws, vagabonds and pilgrims had 
been enormously increased by the victims of falling prices and 
decaying guilds. The phenomenon forces itself on the atten- 
tion of Robert Copland, who printed and probably composed 
The Hye ll'ay to the Spyttel Hozs, after 53. No work more 
clearly illustrates the transitional state of English literature. 
Copland describes himself as taking shelter from the rain in 
the porch of a spyttel house and interrogates the porter on the 
inmates. The author really wishes to describe the different 
types of fools and knaves; but, instead of grouping them under 
a fraternity, boat or testament, he chooses the spyttel house 
to serve as a frame, the picture containing those who knock 
for entrance. Under this heading, nearly-all the lower types 
of humanity are classed, not only the idle and the lascivious, 
but busybodies and those who refuse to forgive their neigh- 
bours or discipline their servants; even idle and domineering 
wives are also among those who visit the hospital. Thus, in 
its main conception, the book belongs to the general body of 
early sixteenth century satire. But the tract is profoundly 
coloured by the element of beggary. .A hospital would not 
have been chosen as a substitute for the traditional back- 
ground unless poverty was a very general curse, and we have a 
ghastly picture of the destitute wretches who crave admission. 
In the first part of the dialogue, the porter gives some amusing 
and graphic anecdotes of the tricks of sham beggars, thus 
showing that Copland had caught a glimpse of the boundless 
fields of comedy and humour which form part of the realm of 
Such was the state of the poor while the religious houses 
still stood, but the suppression of the monasteries added to the 
army of the unemployed and, at the same time, deprived the 
destitute of the alms which had been expressly given in trust for 
them. Those who had formerly looked to the religious houses 
for help were now thrown upon society; mendicancy became a 
recognised fact; and legislation, while suppressing vagabond- 
ism, instituted compulsory relief for the poor and needy. 
Such a system, badly administered in a time of social dis- 
organisation, led to inevitable abuse. Pauperism became a 
profession exercised by ingenious impostors, who perverted 
the administration of charity and, when occasion offered, 

Andrew Boorde 

ent lands, and he understands the importance of a country's 
natural resources. The economical situation interests him; 
he observes that England is the land of capital, and that 
Spain depends on her sea trade for wealth. He has an eye 
for the poverty of people who, like the Welsh, are still sunk 
in the squalor and ignorance of the Middle Ages. Anything 
striking about the government attracts him, and the religious 
situation frequently receives comment. And yet he has the 
individualist's love of peculiarities. He notices the Irish- 
man's device for cooking, he reads that the Flemings eat frogs' 
legs and that the Genoese are high in the instep. 
Besides satisfying men's curiosity in foreign lands, Boorde 
put his medical knowledge and experience within reach of the 
uninitiated, by A Compendyous Regyment or a Dyetary of 
Helth. This treatise on the cultivation of health, one of the 
earliest composed in English, shows how quickly knowledge 
was spreading through the middle classes. It vas an age 
when the government insisted on quarantine but neglected 
sanitation, and when Harrison believed that the soot and 
smoke of chimneyless houses hardened the constitution. 
Boorde was one of the first to see how greatly sanitation 
influenced the well-being of man. The first part of his Dyet- 
ary, really a separate treatise, shows how the secret of health 
is to choose a convenient site for one's house. But the most 
striking feature of his system deals with the reaction of the 
mind on the body. 1 In placing his house, a man should 
choose a congenial prospect, 

for and the eye be not satysfyed, the raynde cannot be contented. 
And the rnynde cannot be contented the herte cannot be pleased: if 
the herte and rnynde be not pleased nature doth abhor. And yf 
nature do abhor, raortyfycacyon of the vytall and anymall and 
spyrytuall powers do consequently folowe. 

In the second part of his treatise, Boorde gives practical 
advice on such matters as sleeping, exercise and dress. He 
includes an exhaustive examination of diet; but most of his 
purely medical knowledge is still traditional. Yet, in scope 
and method, the book is an effort to shake off the ignorance 
t Cf. Medici dicunt etiam quod sanum est quatdo aliquis est laetus. Epis- 
tolae Obscurorum Virorum, vol. , ep. 9- Magister Conradus de Zuiceavia. 

Progress of Social Literature in Tudor Times 

of the past and apply to practical life the learning gathered 
in universities. 
Boorde was not the only physician who advanced the 
culture of his age. In those days, chirurgeons and doctors 
were men of general knowledge. Thomas Vicary insists that, 
besides his professional training, a chirurgeon should be versed 
in natural philosophy, grammar, rhetoric and abstract science. 
John Halle adds astronomy, natural history and botany to 
the list. These sciences were needed to equip the practitioner 
with the skill and ability to put his own art to the fullest use. 
And thus the physician kept in touch with the knowledge of 
his time. Robert Recorde, said to have been physician to 
Edward VI and Mary, wrote dialogues on arithmetic, geo- 
graphy, mensuration, astrology, astronomy and algebra. But 
no xvriter has embodied so much sentiment, learning, elo- 
quence and dramatic power in his scientific treatises as William 
Bullein. In his first book, The Gouvernenwnt of Healthe, we 
find a reflection generally considered the property of Shake- 

In dede the poore sylly shepehard doth pleasantly pipe with his 
shepe, whan mighty princes do fight amonge their subjectes, and 
breake manye slepes in golden beds, whan bakers in bags and 
brewers in bottels, do snorte upon hard strawe, fearing no sodaine 

In 1562, he produced Bullein's Bulwarke of Defence againste 
Sicknes, Sorues, etc., obviously modelling his title on Elyot's 
successful Castel of Helth. Bullein's attitude to his subject can 
best be expressed in the words of lis own dedication: 

I beyng a child of the Commonwealthe am bounde unto my 
mother, that is, the lande, in whom I am borne: to pleasure it with 
any good gift that it hath pleased God to bestowe upon me, not to 
this ende to instructe the learned but to helpe the ignoraunt, that 
thei maie resort to this little Bulwarke. 

The book is divided into four separate treatises, the second in 
the form of a dialogue, and it contains what he had learnt from 
travel and study about herbs, surgery, the cultivation of health 
and the practical part of a physician's work. But the scholars 
who xvere carrying on this work of enlightenment had many 

I28 Progress of Social Literature in Tudor Times 

witches. Cardanus contended that certain complaints and 
affections must be the result of magic and "the workyng o 
cursed sciences," since physic and chirurgery knew of no 
remedy. Scot, also, had the limitations of his contemporaries. 
He still believed in a" naturall magicke" and he accepted many 
of the legends of classic lore, such as the belief that a certain 
river in Thrace makes white sheep produce black lambs, and 
a large number of folk-remedies, such as the belief that the 
bone of a carp's head staunches blood. 
We have seen how prominent a part the middle classes 
played in forming the literature of the sixteenth century. 
While accepting the stories, satire and learning of the Middle 
Ages, they created a demand for English books that should 
reflect the tendencies of the present and embody the humour 
and wisdom of the past. One feature of their reading is its as- 
similation of French, Italian and German thought; another, 
its attractiveness for "clerks" and "gentlemen" as well as for 
"the commons." This popular literature was not obscured 
by the "melodious bursts" of Elizabeth's reign. On the 
contrary, social and fugitive tracts continued to develop 
along the same lines till the Civil War. Satires on folly and 
domestic discord, character studies, jest-books, broadside 
ballads, beggar books, treatises on cosmography, the culti- 
vation of health, universal knowledge and witchcraft con- 
tinued to flourish throughout the Jacobean period, and the 
great work of exposing abuses was bequeathed to not incom- 
petent hands. Nevertheless, a change in the temper of the 
people begins to be noticeable during the last twenty years of 
the sixteenth century. Puritanism, which had long made it- 
self felt, now became prominent; national sentiment took pos- 
session of the people ; the conceits of pseudoclassicism became 
an almost universal fashion; style preoccupied readers and 
writers; the essay was developed ; the gulf between popular and 
court literature began to widen; above all, London grew into 
a centre--or, rather, a hotbed--of professional writers. These 
changes were felt at once in the people's literature. The 
tracts of Churchyard, Gilbert, Greene, Nashe, Gifford, Lodge, 
Chettle, Dekker, Thynne, Overbury, Jonson, Earle, Parrot, 
Wye Saltonstall, Breton, Brathwait, Peacham, Parker and 
Rowlands belong to a different era. Reginald Scot has been 

A New Era 29 

classed with Tudor writers because his work is a rsum of 
the thoughts of that time and his treatment has the rather 
clumsy earnestness of an earlier period. But the others mark 
a subsequent stage in popular English literature and are 
dealt with in later chapters of the present work. 
OL. 111-'--9 


Sir David Lyndsay 

LTHOUGH Sir David Lyndsay, properly the last in- 
heritor in Scotland of the Chaucerian tradition, was, 
evidently, well read in the great English master and 
his successors, and was influenced both in his poetic form and 
method by Dunbar and Douglas, his verse is informed by a 
spirit radically different from that of previous "makaris." 
Like Dunbar, he was largely a satirist; he was a satirist of the 
political, social and ecclesiastical corruptions of his age, just 
as Dunbar was of those of the previous age. But, in Lynd- 
say's time, the sentiment against social and ecclesiastical 
corruptions had become much stronger. It was rapidly 
becoming national; and its more absorbing character was 
ultimately to have a fatal effect on poetry. The character of 
Lyndsay's verse was symptomatic of the approach of a Feriod 
of poetic decline. The artistic purpose is not so supreme in 
him as in Dunbar. He is less poetical and more didactic. 
While by no means so polished and trenchant, he is much 
more special and precise. The gilded coarseness of gentle- 
women, the hypocrisy and worldliness of churchmen, the 
greedy covetousness of courtiers, were to Dunbar, according 
to his mood, subjects for bitter or humorous mirth. To his 
mirth, blended with humour, or -rath or contempt, he gax-e 
expression in biting and brilliant verse, without any very 
definite purpose beyond that of finding vent for his emotions 
and scope for his art. To Lyndsay, on the contrary, the 
definite purpose was almost everything; he was, primarily, 
less a poet than a political and social reformer; and he made 

"The Dreme" 

use of the literary medium that would best achieve his moral 
purpose. Had he lived in modern times, he might have been 
either a prominent and successful statesman, or a brilliant 
writer on the burning questions of the hour; and, had the 
period of his literary activity fallen only a few years later than 
it did--when the advantages of the invention of printing were 
more utilised, and had begun to create a demand for vernacular 
prose---he might have indulged in admonitions, e.xhortations 
and blasts, somewhat after the manner of Knox: he had no 
mastery, like Buchanan, of either Latin 'erse or prose, even 
had his particular purpose not been better served by utilising 
different forms of vernacular verse. 
Sometimes, like Douglas, Lyndsay employed allegory, and 
he, also, employed it for a moral purpose; but, unlike Douglas, 
he was not content to deal with the virtues and vices in 
the abstract, or merely in meditatively pictorial fashion; his 
primary aim was to point out, and hold up to scorn, the 
definite political, social and moral scandals of the time. In 
his early manhood he may have written a variety of verse -ith 
a merely artistic purpose, but the earliest of his poetical pieces 
which has come down to us is The Dreme, 'hich internal evi- 
dence seems to show was written shortly after the escape of 
the young king, James V, from the tutorship of the Douglases 
in 528. From the time of the birth of James V, in i512, 
Lyndsay had been, as he records in the introductory F.pistil 
to the Kingis Grace, the king's personal attendanthis sewer 
(arranger of his table), cupbearer, carver, treasurer, usher and 
cubicular. Being the king's chief companion in his more soli- 
tary hours, he had been accustomed to entertain him with all 
kinds of ancient tales; and, now that James had come to 
years of discretion, and had personally to undertake the re- 
sponsibilities of government, Lyndsay proposed to show him 
"a nez, story "---one of a different kind from any told to him 
before, and more suited to the graver character of his new 
circumstances. The poem was intended for the king's perusal, 
and thus the pill had to be gilded in order that it might be 
accepted. This accounts [or the introductory display of the 
poet's accomplishments as a master of terms aureate, and for 
his resolve to make known his revelations in the elaborate 
allegorical fashion that was a poetic convention of the time. 

Sir David Lyndsay 

The Dreme of Lyndsay may have been suggested by The 
Dreme of Dunbar; but it is about ten times as long, and it has 
nothing in common with it beyond the name and the descrip- 
tion of a dream for its theme. Certain stanzas in Lyndsay's 
prologue are, however, very similar in manner and substance 
to some of the introductory stanzas of Dunbar's The Thrissil 
azd the Rois, and, like the latter poem, it is written in the 
rime royal of Chaucer, all except the epilogue, which is in the 
nine-lined stave used by Dunbar in The Goldyn Targe, by 
Chaucer in Anelida and Arcite and by Gavin Douglas in part 
of The Ialice o Hoo-ur. The general form of Lyndsay's 
poem seems to have been suggested rather by The Ialice o 
Honour than by any poem of Dunbar, who did not intermeddle 
with extended allegory. Like The Ialice o I-Ionour, it records 
an adventurous journey, but of a less purely imaginative or 
allegorical character, for Lyndsay is made to visit what he 
regards as actual realitiesthe lowest hell, purgatory, the 
seven planets, heaven and paradise. The character of the 
journey may have been suggested to him by Chaucer's House 
o Fame; bu other-world scenes had, generally, much attrac- 
tion for the imagination of medieval poets. This portion of 
the poem was, also, largely a conventional excrescence. It 
was chiefly introductory to his main theme. He was here 
intent partly on displaying his poetic paces with a view to 
arouse the literary interests of the king and secure his atten- 
tion, partly on putting him in such a frame of mind as would 
induce him to give serious consideration to the succeeding 
exposure of the povely, wrongs and miseries of his subjects. 
As revealed to Lyndsay by Dame Remembrance, Scot- 
land is described as possessing within itself all that is needful 
for the highest prosperity: abundant rivers and lochs for fish, 
many lusty vales for corn, fruitful hills and green meadows 
for the pasturage of sheep and cattle, forests swarming with 
deer and other animals of the chase, various rich metals and 
precious stones, and, if none of the finer fruits of the warmer 
climates, from which spices and wines are made, various sorts 
of fruit of a thoroughly good and wholesome kind. This 
description tallies with actual fac; in the Scotland of L3aad- 
say's time, there was an abundant supply of food for the limited 
number of its inhabitants. It possessed all the essential re- 

"The Dreme" 33 

sources for comfort and prosperity, and it was inhabited, as 
Dame Remembrance points out, by a strong, ingenious and 
courageous people. Why, then, he asks, has there come to be 
such evident poverty, such great unhappiness, such a lack of 
virtuous well-doing ? And the answer of Dame Remembrance 
is that the cause is lack of policy, lack of proper administration 
of justice and lack of peace. This is further revealed in detail 
by John the Commoun Weill, whose arrival as he is hastening to 
leave the country, and whose ragged costume, lean looks and 
dejected bearing are described with vivid picturesqueness. 
In reply to Lyndsay's query as to the cause of the miserable 
and poverty-stricken appearance of one whose life was exem- 
plary, and whose aims high and honourable, John the Commoun 
Weill in[orms him of the banishment from the country of all 
his best friends, of the unrighteous triumph of his enemies 
and of his evil treatment in every part of the country where he 
sought refuge--the borders rampant with theft and murder 
and mischief; the highlands peopled by lazy sluggards; the 
islands and the western regions a prey to unthrift, laziness, 
falsehood and strife; and the more civilised portions of the 
lowlands, from vhich "singular profit" (selfish greed), after 
doing him great injury and offence, expelled him with oppro- 
brious epithets. He then proceeds to describe in detail, and 
with much terse vigour, the corruptions and inefficiency both 
of the civil and spiritual rule during the king's minority, and 
intimates his determination not again to give Scotland the 
comfort of his presence, until she is guided by the wisdom of 
"ane gude and prudent Kyng." 
With the departure of John the Commoun WeilI, the 
visions vouchsafed to the poet come to a close. He is brought 
again by Dame Remembrance to the cove where he had laid 
him down to sleep; and, after being awakened by the shot of 
a cannon from a ship in the offing, he proceeds to his home, 
where, after a good dinner, he sits himself down to record the 
events of his vision. To this record he finally appends an 
epilogue entitled An Exhortation to the King, which takes the 
form of shrewd advice, and serious and solemn warning. 
The Complaynt--in the octosyllabic couplet, and of rather 
later date--records, in a brisk, mocking fashion, the methods 
adopted by the Douglases to enrich themselves at the king's 

x34 Sir David Lyndsay 

expense, and to make him the passive instrument of their am- 
bition; describes the generally scandalous condition both of 
church and state under their rule; and congratulates him on 
his escape from the clutches of such false friends, and on the 
marked improvement in social order and general well-being 
throughout the kingdom, except as regards the "spiritualitie." 
On the doings of the ecclesiastics he advises him to keep a 
watchful eye, and see that they preach with "unfeyneit 
intentis," use the sacraments as Christ intended and leave 
such vain traditions as superstitious pilgrimages and praying 
to images. Finally, Lyndsay--as poets were then accustomed 
to do--ventures to suggest that the king, now that his affairs 
were prosperous, might do worse than bestow on him some 
token of his regard, either by way of loan or gift. Should 
he be so good as to lcnd him one or two thousand pounds, then 
Lyndsay jocosely undertakes, with "seelit obligations," to 
promise repayment as soon as any of several equally unlikely 
things should come to pass: when kir-kmen cease to crave 
dignities, or when wives no longer desire sovereignty over 
their husbands, or as soon as a winter happens without frost, 
snow, wind or rain; or he will repay him after the Day of 
Judgment; or, if none of these conditions please him, then he 
hopes that, out of his sovereign bounty, he will bestow on 
him some definite reward. 
The humorous hint of Lyndsay was successful, for, shortly 
aftera'ards, in 53 o, he was made Lyon King of Arms. His 
promotion did not, however, tend to silence his reformatory 
zeal, but, on the contrary, made him more anxious to do what 
he could to promote the success of the young king's sover- 
eignty. In The Testament at Complaynt o ottr Soverane 
Lordis Papyngo (parrot) he exposed more particularly the 
corruptions and worldliness of the spirituality, and this in a 
more comprehensive and scathing fashion than in his two 
previous pieces, while the versification is, in parts, more elab- 
orately polished. It opens with a prologue--in one of the 
nine-lined staves, aab, aab, bcc, used by Douglas in The Palice 
o Hono,tr--in which, after a glowing and freely expressed 
tribute to his poetic predecessors from Chaucer, and various 
polite allusions to his poetic contemporaries, he affirms that 
even if he had "ingyne" (genius), as he has none, the "polleit 

"Soverane Lordis Papyngo" i3 5 

terms" had been already pulled, and there was nothing left 
in all "the garth of eloquence" but "barren stok and stone." 
For lack, therefore, both of a novel poetic theme and a novel 
poetic method, he had been reduced to record the complaint 
of a wounded papyngo. 
In this ingenious and humorous apology he partly followed 
conventional models. Yet, in all likelihood, he was conscious 
of his own lack of high poetic inspiration, of his unworthiness 
to be named alongside of Chaucer and other English masters, 
or the "aureate" Kennedy, or Dunbar, who "language had 
at large," or the more recent Gavin Douglas, vhose death he 
laments, and whose translation of Vergil he specially celebrates; 
and his apology must also be taken as a kind of intimation 
that, in recording the complaint of the papyngo, he was in- 
fluenced less by poetical ambition than by the desire to render 
service to the higher interests of his country. 
The introductory stanzas of the poem dealing with the 
accident that befel the papyngo--which, with the remainder 
of the poem, are in rime royal--are modelled on the aureate 
methods of Chaucer and Dunbar, blended with the more 
profuse classical imagery of Douglas. Of the animal fable, 
the chief exponent was, of course, Henryson, but, in the more 
modified form adopted by Lyndsay, it is made use of both by 
Chaucer and Dunbar. In the case of Dunbar, it is, in The 
Thrissil aut the Rois and the Petition o] the Grey Horse., utilised 
more indirectly and with more subtle art. Truth to tell, 
there is little or no art in Lyndsay's use of the expedient, so 
far as regards the counsel of the dying bird either to the king 
or to the "brether of the courte." In both cases, the voice 
is the voice of Lyndsay, without any attempt to disguise it. 
The counsel to the king--or the first epistle--consists of a 
series of plain and definite advices, couched, practically, in 
the language of prose, as how best to discharge his multifari- 
ous and difficult duties; and the second epistle gives a terse and 
striking summary of the great tragedies of Scottish history 
from the time of the duke of Rothesay, with a view to impress 
on the courtiers both the uncertainties of kingly favour, and 
the evil consequences of unscrupulous personal ambition. 
This second part concludes with the dying bird's touching 
words of farewell to the chief scenes of her former happiness: 

Sir David Lyndsay 

Edinburgh, the "heych tryumphant toun," fair "Snawdoun" 
(Stifling) with its "touris hie" and "Falkland! the fortrace of 
In the concluding section of the poem, the fable form is 
much more strictly observed. Here, also, all is pure satire-- 
much of it of a very clever and trenchant character, although 
some of the scenes are rather too prolonged. It relates the 
communing of the wise bird with its "holy executors," who 
appear in the form of a pyot (representing a canon regular), a 
raven (a black monk) and a ged or hawk (a holy friar). The 
disposition and aims of these ghostly counsellors are sufficiently 
manifest; and they act entirely in keeping with their reputed 
character. The poor parrot would have much preferred to 
have, at her death-bed, attendants of a less grovelling type of 
character, such as the nightingale, the jay, the mavis, the gold- 
finch, the lark, etc. ; but, since none of them has come, she has 
to be content with the disreputable birds who have offered 
her their services. After a piquant discussion with them on the 
growth of ecclesiastical sensuality and greed, she thereupon 
proceeds to dispose of her personality--her "galbarte of 
grene" to the owl, her eyes to the bat, her beak to the pelican, 
her music to the cuckoo, her "toung rhetoricall" to the goose 
and her bones to the phoenix. Her heart she bequeaths to 
the king; and she leaves merely her entrails, including her 
liver and lungs, to her executors who, however, immediately 
on her death, proceed to devour her whole body, after which 
the ged flies away with her heart, pursued by the two other 
birds of prey. 
The king, who practised verse, though no piece definitely 
known to be his has been preserved, had, it would appear, 
replied in a rather mocking and scurrilous fashion to certain of 
Lyndsay's hints as to his amatory inclinations; and to this 
Lyndsay wrote an Answer in rime royal, after the coarsely 
plain-spoken fashion of his time, which casts, directly and 
indirectly, a vivid light on the gross character of contemporary 
morals and manners. Another piece, meant as a satire on the 
king's courtiers, is Ane Publict Confessioun of the Kingis auld 
Hoztcl callit Bagsche, written in the French octave, and de- 
scribing, in light, amusing fashion, the evil doings, and the 
consequent narrow escapes from condign punishment, of an 

Sir David Lyndsay 

in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries seems to suggest that, 
while their character was analogous rather to the morality 
play of France than to that of England, they were a very com- 
mon diversion. Adjoining the principal towns were play- 
fields with elevations forming a kind of amphitheatre. The 
earliest play of which we have mention is one entitled The 
HalybhMe, which was acted on the Windmill hill at Aberdeen, 
in 1445; and there is also mention of two others having been 
acted there in later years. More definite is the reference by 
Knox to "a play againis the Papists" by friar Kyllour, per- 
formed before James V at Stifling, on Good Friday morning, 

1535- "Diverse comedies and tragedies," by John Wedder- 
burn, wherein "he nipped the abuses and superstitions of the 

time," were, also, played at Dundee, in 54o, among them 
The History o] Dionysius the Tyrant, in the form of a comedy 
which was acted in the playfields. Neither Knox nor Calder- 
wood conveys the slightest impression that performances of 
extended plays were uncommon; but they had no reason for 
alluding to other plays than those used for satirising the eccle- 
siastics. Later, in 568, there is mention of a play by Robert 
Sempill, performed before the Lord Regent, and, a few years 
afterwards, Knox was present at the performance of a play, by 
John Davidson, one of the regents of St. Andrews university, 
in which was represented the capture of Edinburgh Castle-- 
then held for queen Ma'and the execution in effig3: of its 
defenders. Further, an act of the kirk in x 575, for the censor- 
ship of "comedies, tragedies and other profane plays," is a 
sufficient indication of the popularity of the diversion. Never- 
theless, Lyndsay's Pleasant Satyre is the only surviving example 
of a sixteenth century. Scottish play, though an anonymous 
play entitled Philotus was published in i6o 3, and there is an 
early graphic fragment--probably by Dunbar--in the Ban- 
natyne IIS., entitled The Interlude o] the Droichis Part o] the 
In his official capacity of Lyon King of Arms, Lyndsay, 
doubtless, acquired considerable dramatic experience, for he 
had the general superintendence of the pageantry and diver- 
sions on the occasion of royal fores, and, probably, devised the 
farces, masques and mummeries. Indeed, there is evidence 
 See Vol. II of the present work, pp. 88, 9 o. 

"Pleasant Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis" 139 

that, at an earlier period of his life, he was accustomed to act in 
such entertainments or in more elaborate plays. A ne Pleas- 
ant Satyre is not the work of a dramatic novice. It is specially 
notable for its dramatic quality: it manifests a fine instinct for 
telling dramatic situations and dramatic contrasts and a 
complete comprehension of the method both of impressing and 
tickling a popular audience. In construction, in variety of 
dramatic interest, in vividness of presentation, in keenness of 
satire, in liveliness of wit--though the liveliness is apt to 
degenerate into grossness--and in what is termed stage "bus- 
iness," it is immensely superior to any contemporary English 
play. The nearest approach to it in dramatic development 
is Bale's King John, which is of later date--probably about 
1548. Lyndsay's play was performed before James V at 
Linlithgow in  540, and it may have been performed elsewhere 
at an earlier date. It was performed, at some unknown date, 
at Cupar-Fife, and, in 554, at Greenside (at the foot of the 
Calton hill), Edinburgh. Not improbably, it was written at 
the instance of the king, who, about the same time, xvas 
encouraging Buchanan to satirise the Franciscans. Henry 
Charteris, the first publisher of Lyndsay's II'orks, could at- 
tribute Lyndsay's escape from persecution only to the special 
intervention and mercy of heaven; but it is to be remembered 
that Lyndsay did not, like Buchanan, direct his attacks against 
any special religious order, that he enjoyed the intimate friend- 
ship of the king and, it may be, of Mary of Lorraine as well, 
and that he was not a preacher, nor even a full-blown reformer. 
He was neither Calvinist nor puritan, and was less interested 
in disputes about doctrines and forms of church polity than 
in the social and political well-being of the people. 
Ane Pleasan Satyre is a morality play, but it is also some- 
thing more. It is a blend of secular and sacred drama, and 
embodies something of the French morality farce. It intro- 
duces real, as well as allegorical, personages, and it lightens 
the action of the play by comic devices borrowed from French 
models. In parts, it manifests the special characteristics of 
modem comedy. It inevitably does so by reason of the very 
specific character of its satirical representation of contempo- 
rary manners. Though hampered as a comedy by its morality 
conventions, it is a morMity play of a very advanced type: a 

Sir David Lyndsay 

morality play aided in its dramatic action and relieved in its 
dramatic seriousness by a strong infusion of comedy, and by 
the intermixture of interludes of a strikingly realistic charac- 
ter. The strictly morality portions are superior to the moral- 
ity plays of Bale; and the interludes are much more elaborate 
and finished specimens of comedy than the interludes of Hey- 
wood. Lyndsay's knowledge of the ways of the world and of 
the temper and characteristics of the crowd, and the minute 
character of his zeal as a reformer, were important elements 
contributing to his dramatic success. Neither in this nor in 
other satires was he content with generalities. His desire 
was to scourge the definite social evils of his time, and he had 
therefore to represent them in living form, as manifested in 
the speech, manner and bearing of individual persons. 
For this reason, the play is of unique interest as a mirror of 
the Scotland of Lyndsay's time--when Catholicism was tot- 
tering to its fall. It is an excessively long play, its representa- 
tion occupying a whole day, from nine in the morning until 
six in the evening; but its length enables the playwright to 
present a pretty comprehensive epitome of contemporary 
abuses and of contemporary manners and morals. The fla- 
grant fraikies of the ecclesiastics are portrayed with sufficient 
vividness in the speeches of representative types and in the 
amusing exposition of their relations with allegorical person- 
ages, good and bad; but it is in the tone of Lyndsay's wit, in 
the character of the horseplay by which he seeks to tickle his 
audience, in his method of pandering to their grosser tastes, 
in the farcical proceedings of such persons as the soutar, the 
tailor and their two wives, in the interviews between Pauper 
and Pardoner, in the dealings of Pardoner with the soutar and 
the soutar's wife and in the doings and speeches of Folly, that 
the peculiar social atmosphere of the time is most graphically 
The play is divided into two parts, and part I, which repre- 
sents the temptation of Rex Humanitas by Sensualitie, is 
divided into two acts, with an interlude between them. Sen- 
sualitie is introduced to the king by Wantonness, Placebo 
and Solace, in whose company he then passes to a pri- 
vate apartment, after which Gude Counsell makes his ap- 
pearance. Gude Counsell declares his intention to "repois 

"Pleasant Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis" 

sometime in this place," but is immediately followed by 
Flatterie and Falset, who, shortly after they have congratu- 
lated each other on their happy meeting, are joined by their 
indispensable companion Dissait ; whereupon, the three resolve 
to introduce themselves to the king under the guise respectively 
of Devotion, Sapience and Discretion. Shortly afterwards, 
the king returns to the stage and calls for Wantonness, who 
introduces him to the three vices; and, after a conversation 
with him in their feigned characters, in the course of which 
their proficiency in their several methods of guile is admirably 
indicated, he gives them welcome as "three men of gude." 
Here the king, observing Gude Counsell standing dejectedly at 
a distance, sends his nev friends to bring him to his presence; 
but, when they discover who he is, they hustle him out of the 
place, threatening him with death should he dare to return. 
They then inform the king that the person he saw was a house- 
breaker whom they had ordered to be sent to the thieves' hole. 
Gude Counsell having been expelled, the king is now entirely 
in the hands of his evil companions, and sits down amongst 
the ladies, who sing to him a song, led by Sensualitie. Here 
Veritie makes her appearance carrying a New Testament, but 
is speedily followed by the Spiritualitie--including the abbot 
and the parson--who, at the instance of Flatterie, put Veritie 
in the stocks, after she had offered up an impressive prayer, 

Get up, thou sleepis all too long. O Lord! 
And rnak sum ressonibill reformatioun. 

Veritie being disposed of, Chastitie makes her appearance, 
whom, on her asking for "harberie," Diligence recommends to 
go to a "prioress of renown," sitting amongst the rest of the 
Spiritualitie. The prioress, however, asks her to keep her 
distance, the Spiritualitie tell her to pass on, for they know 
her not, and even Temporalitie informs her that, if his wives 
knew she were here, the3 T would "mak all this town on steir." 
With the sorrowful departure of Chastitie from the company, 
act I ends. It is admirably conceived and written, the terse- 
ness and point of the satire being accentuated by the very 
skilful management of the dramatic situations. 

i42 Sir David Lyndsay 

Act I is followed by an interlude, relating the adventures of 
Chastitie after her expulsion from high society. On intro- 
ducing herself to a tailor and soutar, she is cordially welcomed 
by these worthies; but, while they are entertaining her, their 
wives enter, and, after a boisterous scene, during which the 
wives set on their husbands in savage fashion both with tongue 
and hand, Chastitie is driven away; whereupon, after further 
"dinging" of their "gudemen," the wives resolve to have a 
feast in celebration of their victory, the tailor's wife sitting 
down to make "ane paist," and the soutar's wife kilting up 
her clothes above her waist, that she may cross the river on 
her way to the town to fetch a quart of wine. 
Diligence (the master of the ceremonies), who had found 
Chastitie wandering houseless, late at night, at the beginning of 
act  introduces her to the king; but, Sensualitie objecting to 
her presence, she is put in the stocks by the three disguised 
vices. She is, however, comforted by Veritie with the news 
that Di3"ne Correctioun is "new landit," and might be ex- 
pected very soon. Hereupon, Correctioun's varlet (or mes- 
senger) enters, on hearing whose message Flatterie resolves 
to take refuge with the Spiritualitie or hide himself in some 
cloister. He therefore bids adieu to his two friends, who, 
before leaving, resolve to steal the king's box, but quarrel over 
the division of the spoil and Dissait runs away with the box 
through the water, just as Di3"ne Correctioun enters. At the 
instance of Correctioun, Gude Counsell and Veritie are set 
free from the stocks, and, accompanied by \reritie, Gude 
Counsell and Chastitie, pass to the king. On the advice of 
Correctioun, the king then consents to the expulsion of Sen- 
sualitie, who, on seeking the protection of the Spiritualitie, is 
warmly welcomed by them as their "dayis darling." By 
further advice of Correctioun, the king then receives into his 
society Gude Counsell, Veritie and Chastitie; and, on their 
confessing their faults and promising to have no further 
dealings with Sensualitie, Correctioun also pardons Wan- 
tormess, Placebo and Solace. Then, after a speech by Gude 
Counsell, Diligence, by order of the king, warns all members of 
parliament, both the Spiritualitie and the Temporalitie, to 
appear speedily at court. He then intimates that the first 
part of the play is ended, and that there will be a short interval 

"Pleasant Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis" 14. 

--which he exhorts them to employ in refreshing themselves 
and in other ways not now mentioned in ordinary company. 
Between the first part and the second there is an interlude, 
while the "king, bishops and principal players are out of their 
places." It introduces us to a pauper, who is really a small 
farmer reduced to proverty by ecclesiastical oppression, and 
on his way to St. Andrews to seek redress. When Diligence 
endeavours to drive him away as "ane vilde begger earle," he 
climbs up to the king's chair and seeks to seat himself in it. 
With some difficulty Diligence succeeds in making him vacate 
it, but, struck by his sad and respectable demeanour, asks him 
where he comes from and what is his errand. Pauper then 
recites to him in moving terms the story of his wrongs at the 
hands of the ecclesiastics, who have brought him to utter 
poverty by their greedy extortions on the death of his father, 
his mother and his wife, which had successively occasioned 
him the loss of his mare and his three cows; while even the 
clothes of the deceased persons have been seized as perquisites 
by the vicar's clerk. After telling his pitiable stow, Pauper, 
with the consent of Diligence, lays him down to rest ; and there 
enters Pardoner, who, unchallenged by Diligence, proceeds to 
make a speech in which he rails at the "wicket New Testa- 
ment," which has greatly injured his trade, and exposed the 
craft which he had been taught by a friar called Hypocrisy; 
bans ,Iartin Luther, Black Bullinger and lIelanchthon; and 
expresses the wish that Paul had never been born, or his books 
never read except by friars. Then, placing his wares on a 
board, he proceeds to dilate on their several merits, the pic- 
turesque recital being, on Lyndsay's part, a masterpiece of 
mocking irony, full of grotesque allusions admirably adapted 
to provoke the amused mirth of the rude crowd. The soutar, 
who, meanwhile, has entered and listened to the recital, now 
resolves to take advantage of Pardoner's arrival to obtain a 
dispensation for separation from his wife. While he is in con- 
ference with the holy man for this purpose, his wife appears, 
just in time to hear his very plain-spoken description of her 
character and doings; but, although furiously angry with 
him for libelling her as he has done, she, in answer to Pardon- 
er's query, affirms that she is content with all her heart to be 
separated from him; and, thereupon, Pardoner, on condition 

I44 Sir David Lyndsay 

that they perform a mutual ceremony too coarse for descrip- 
tion, sends them away uncoupled, "with Belial's best blessing." 
Then, after an interview between Pardoner and his boy-ser- 
vant Willikin, during which we obtain the information that 
village middens are the chief hunting grounds for Pardoner's 
holy relics, Pauper awakes from sleep. On Pauper handing to 
the holy man his solitalT groat, Pardoner guarantees him in 
return a thousand years of pardons; but, since Pauper can- 
not see the pardons and has no evidence that he has obtained 
anything, he comes to the conclusion that he is merely being 
robbed; and the interlude ends with a grotesque encounter 
between the two, during which Pauper pitches both board and 
relics into the water. 
Part ii deals more specifically with the evils of the time 
than part i. The three estates, in response to the previous 
summons, noxv appear before the king; but they are shown 
us walking backwards, led by their vices--Spiritualitie by 
Covetousness and Sensualitie, Temporalitie (the Lords) by 
Publick Oppression and Merchant (the representatives of the 
burghs) by lValset and Dissait. On Diligence, however, sum- 
moning all who are oppressed to come and make their com- 
plaint to the king, John the Commoun Weill makes his 
appearance, and, after a piquant conversation with the king, 
denounces the vices of the three estates in no measured terms, 
and requires that such scandalous persons should be put in 
the stocks, which, at the instance of Correctioun, is immedi- 
ately done, Spiritualitie bidding Covetousness and Sensualitie 
a farewell, the sadness of which is mitigated by the hope of 
soon meeting them again. Then, at the instance of John the 
Commoun Weill, who delivers an impressive address on the 
abuses of the administration, the Temporal Estates repent of 
their conduct, promise amendment and embrace John the 
Commoun Weill. The Spiritualitie, however, not only re- 
main impenitent, but impudently seek to represent their 
doings as in the highest degree exemplar3"; the abbot, the 
parson and the lady prioress, each in characteristic fashion, 
seeking to show that their violation of their vows, so far from 
being dishonourable, is rather to their credit than not, and 
that their sins of omission are really condoned by the char- 
acter of what are usually deemed their sins of commission- 

"Pleasant Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis" 

This leads to a long debate, during which Pauper, and also the 
soutar, the tailor, a scribe and Common Thiff, all add liveliness 
and point to the discussion. Then Common Thift--who had 
no other resource but to steal--is induced by Oppressioun to 
go into the stocks in Oppressioun's stead, on condition that 
Oppressioun will come again soon and relieve him; but Op- 
pressioun slinks away from the scene, leaving Common Thift 
unsuccoured. Doctor, then, at the instance of Correctioun, 
mounts the pulpit, and delivers a sermon amid ill-mannered 
inten-uptions from the abbot and the parson. During its 
delivery, Diligence spies a friar whispering with the abbot, and, 
suspecting that he intends to "set the town on steir" against 
the preacher, has him apprehended; and, on his being brought 
in by the sergeant and stripped of his habit, he is seen to be no 
other than Flatterie. The lady prioress is then spoiled of her 
habit, and, on being discovered to have been wearing under it 
a kirtle of silk, gives her malison to her parents for compelling 
her to be a nun, and not permitting her to marry. Flatterie 
is then put in the stocks, and the three prelates are stripped 
of their habits, which are put upon three sapient, cunning 
clerks. The prelates seek to find comfort from Covetousness 
and Sensualitie; but these former friends now renounce them, 
and they depar to earn an honest living in secular occu- 
pations. Thereafter, John the Commoun \Veill, clothed in 
gorgeous apparel, takes his place in the parliament, and, 
after acts have been passed for the reform of clamant abuses, 
the malefactors in the stocks are led to the gallows. Flatterie 
saves himself by undertaking the office of executioner; and 
with their characteristic last speeches and Flatterie's cynical 
self-congratulation, the drama proper is brought to a close. 
This latter portion, which is a good deal longer and more 
complicated in its action than part I, is, at the same time, more 
diversely and elaborately clever. It is enlivened by a great 
variety of picturesque incidents, and the satire is so pointed 
and so topical, and the various dnouements are led up to with 
such admirable wit, that the audience must have been kept 
throughout in a high state of amused excitement, mingled with 
righteous expectation, and must, at the close, have been not 
less seriously impressed with the lessons of the play, than 
emhusiastic over its dramatic merits. 


Minor Poets 

an argument for the circulation of the Bible in the vernacular, 
an account of the creation of Adam and Eve, a prelection on 
man's first sin, an explanation and description of the Flood, 
an account of the rise and fall of the four great monarchies-- 
which, according to the author, were the Assyrian, the Persian, 
the Grecian and the Roman--a reference to the first spiritual 
or papal monarchy with a description of the court of Rome 
and a dissertation on death, .Anti-Christ and the general 
Only two other of Lyndsay's pieces remain to be men- 
tioned, and they are of an entirely non-didactic nature: 
The Deploratioun of the Death of Queen Magdalcne and The 
Historic o[ the .Squyer ll[eldrum. The former, in rime ro)'al, is 
modelled on the aureate method adopted by Dunbar in his 
more ceremonial pieces, but lacks the imposing musical melody 
of Dunbar's verse, and jolts along in a rather rough and unex-en 
fashion. In couplets, Lyndsay vas more at his ease, and in this 
medium he has related the varied and surprising adx'entures 
of a Fife neighbour, Squire William Meldrum, umwhile laird 
of Cleish and Binns, with unfailing spirit and with a point and 
graphic particularity that, to the modern reader, is sometimes 
a little disconcerting. Modelled after the Squire's Tale of 
Chaucer, Lyndsay's narrative, though in substance relating 
the actual experiences and achievements of Meldrum, re- 
produces them with a gloss which makes the poem assume the 
form of a kind of burlesque of the old romances. Apart from 
its special merits, it is of interest as rex-ealing Lyndsay's en- 
joyment of mere merriment devoid of satire. 
Of James V, Lyndsay's royal patron, no verses that can be 
authenticated survive; for he can as little be credited x'ith the 
authorship of Peblis and Christis Kirk, as of The Gaberhtzzie 
Man and The .folly Beggars. For an account of Lyndsay's 
other poetic contemporaries and a summary of their individual 
merits we are indebted to Lyndsay's prologue to The 
playnt o the Papyngo. 
Of the poetry of Sir James Inglis, whom he commends as 
without a superior "in ballatis, farces and in plesant playis," 
and who is credited by some with the authorship of The 
playnt o] Scotlaut, no examples remain that are definitely 
known to be his. John Bellenden, the translator of Boethius 

Alexander Scott 

gestive fashion characteristic of the time. The Ballat of the 
Grealness of lhe World, prompted, it may be, like Lyndsay's 
Dialog,, by a perusal of the translation of the Scriptures, and 
written in the stave of The Cherrie aut the Slae, indicates his 
acceptance of the conventional beliefs of his time; but the 
poem is a very uninspired performance; and much more of 
his real self appears in the half humorous, half melancholy 
musings of such pieces as Na Kyndes wilhoul Siller, Gude 
Cou**seillis, Advyce to lesum l][eryzes and Solace of Aige. 
Maitland was hardly a poet, nor is he of much account as a 
satirist; but his verse is of considerable interest as a record of 
the ingenuous sentiments of a highly accomplished and upright 
man, who, at this troubled and critical period of Scottish his- 
tory, kept, in a manner, aloof from both parties. 
Alexander Scott, almost the only lyrist, except such as are 
anonymous, of importance amongst the old Scottish poets, 
stands still more aloof in spirit than Maitland from the emo- 
tional and fervent zeal of the reformers. His poetrT is en- 
tirely secular in theme and manner, with the exception of a 
translation of two psalms, the first and the fiftieth, which, 
though cleverly rimed, are both of them rather frigid and 
mechanical. Seeing Montgomery refers to him, in 584, as 
"old Scott," he vas probably born not later than towards the 
close of the first quarter of the sixteenth century. If, again, 
his supposed Lamctt oJ llvz Master oJ Erskite be properly 
named, he most likely began to write not later than 547, 
for the master, who is reported to have been the lover of the 
queen dmvager, xvas slain at Pinkie in that year, and the poem is 
credited with embodying his imaginary farewell to her. O[ 
May must, also, have been written before the act of parliament 
passed in  555 against the old May celebrations; and, although 
the only other poem of his that can be dated is his New 'eir 
GiJt to Queen Mary, ,56_o, none of his verses that have been 
preserved is of later date than 568. 
Of the thirty-six pieces of which Scott is known to be the 
author, thirty are of an amatory character, and the majority of 
them seem to have been greatly influenced in style and spirit 
by the love lyrics in Tottel's Miscellauy, 557, whether Scott 
had an acquaintance with such pieces before they were pub- 
lished or not. To Scott's verse there thus attaches a certain 


Reformation and Renascence in Scotland 

N the year  528, three events occurred in Scotland, which, as 
the near future was to prove, were fraught with pregnant 
consequences alike for the state and for the national 
religion and national literature. In that year, James V, after 
a long tutelage, became master of his kingdom; Patrick Hamil- 
ton, the "protomartyr" of the Scottish reformation, was 
bunt; and Sir David Lyndsay published his first work, The 
Dreme. Taken together, these three events point to the fact 
that Scotland was entering on a new phase of her national life, 
and at the same time indicate the character of the coming 
revolution. From the transformation thus to be wrought in 
the national aims and ideals the chief Scottish literature of the 
period received its distinctive stamp, and we have but to 
recall its representative productions--those of the anonymous 
authors of The Gude azd Godlie Ballatis, of John Knox and 
of George Buchanan--to realise the gulf that separates it from 
the period immediately preceding. 
From James I to Gavin Douglas, Scottish literature had 
been mainly imitative, borrowing its spirit, its models and its 
themes from Chaucer and other sources. The characteristic 
aim of this literature had, on the whole, been pleasure and 
amusement; and, if it touched on evils in the state, in the 
church or in society, it had no direct and conscious purpose of 
assailing the institutions under which the nation had lived since 
the beginning of the Middle .-kges. Totally different were the 
character and aim of the representative literature of the period 
which may be dated from the publication of Lyndsay's Dreme 
in 1528 to the union of the crowns in i6o 3. The literature of 
this period was in the closest touch with the national life, and 
was the direct expression of the convictions and passions of 

Reformation and Renascence in Scotland 

Europe. The poverty of the country, due to the nature of the 
soil rather than to any lack of strenuousness on the part of its 
people, equally hindered the development of a rich and various 
national life. Scotland now possessed three universities; but 
to equip these in accordance with the new ideals of the time 
was beyond her resources, and the same difficulty stood in the 
way of maintaining great schools such as the renascence had 
originated in other countries. Finally, the renascence was 
checked in Scotland, more than in any other country, by the 
special conditions under which the reformation was here ac- 
complished. From the beginning to the end of the struggle, 
the Scottish reformers had to contend against the consistent 
opposition of the crown, and it was only as the result of civil 
war that the victory of their cause was at lenh assured. 
Thus, at the period when the renascence was in full tide, 
Scotland was spending her energies in a contest which absorbed 
the best minds of the country; and a variety of causes debarred 
her from an adequate participation in that humanism which, 
in other countries, was widening the scope of thought and 
action, and enriching literature with new forms and new ideas. 
Nevertheless, though the renascence failed in any marked 
degree to affect the general national life, it found, both in 
literature and in action, distinguished representatives who had 
fully imbibed its spirit. 
It is from the preaching of Patrick Hamilton in i527, 
followed by his execution in 5-'8, that Knox dates the begin- 
ning of the reformation in Scotland; and it is a production of 
Hamilton, Patrikes Places, that he adduces as the first speci- 
men of its literature. "Literature," however, this document 
can hardly be called, as it is merely a brief and bald statement 
of the Lutheran doctrine of justification by faith, originally 
written in Latin, and translated into Scoto-English by John 
Frith. Associated with Hamilton in the beginnings of the 
Scottish reformation is a more voluminous writer, Alexander 
Alane (for this and not Aless was his real name, as appears 
from the registers of the university of St. Andrews), but better 
known by his Latin designation, Alesius. Born in Edinburgh 
in 1500, Alesius was trained for the church in the university 
of St. Andrews. In an attempt to convince Hamilton of the 
error of his ways, he was shaken in his own faith, and sus- 

160 Reformation and Renascence in Scotland 

in its power to prohibit them, when they overstepped the 
limits prescribed by the law. Another form of literature, 
therefore, was required, at once less overt and of wider appeal, 
if the new teaching xvas to reach the masses of the people; and 
such a vehicle was nov to be found. 
It was about the year i546 that there appeared a little 
volume which, after the Bible itself, did more for the spread of 
reformation doctrines than any other book published in Scot- 
land. As no copy of this edition has been preserved, we can 
only conjecture its contents from the first edition of which 
we possess a specimen--that of  567, apparently an enlarged 
edition of the original. The book generally known in Scot- 
land as The Gztde and Godlie Ballatis is, next to Knox's Historic 
o] the rc]ormatioun, the most memorable literary monument of 
the period in vernacular Scots. The chief share in the pro- 
duction of this volume, also known as The Dundee Book, may, 
almost with certainty, be assigned to three brothers, James, 
John and Robert Wedderburn, sons of a rich Dundee merchant, 
all of whom had studied at the university of St. Andrews, and 
were for a time exiled for their attachment to the reformed 
doctrines. Besides a metrical translation of the Psalms, the 
book contained a number of Spirituall Sangis and Plesand 
Ballalis, the object of which was to convey instruction in 
points of faith, to stimulate devotion and to stigmatise the 
iniquities and errors of the Roman church. Of both songs and 
ballads, fully one half are more or less close translations from 
the popular German productions which had their origin in 
the Lutheran movement. But the most remarkable pieces 
in the book are those which adapt current secular songs and 
ballads to spiritual uses, appropriating the airs, measures, 
initial lines or choruses of the originals. This consecration of 
profane effusions was not unknown in the medieval church, 
and for the immediate object in view a more effective literary 
form could not have been devised. At a time when books were 
dear and were, in general, little read, these Godly Ballads, set 
to popular tunes, served at once the purpose of a pamphlet 
and a sermon, conveying instruction, while, at the same time, 
they roused to battle. \Vhat amazes the reader of the present 
day in these compositions is the grotesque blending of religion 
with all the coarseness and scurrility of the age. Yet this 

Reformation and Renascence in Scotland 

Melanchthon. "That notable man Mr. George Buchanan," 
he writes, "remains to this day, the year of God,  566 years, to 
the glory of God, to the great honour of the nation and to the 
comfort of them that delight in letters and virtue." A religion 
based on the Bible, as he understood it, and a national system 
of education which should provide for every grade of study 
and utilise every special gift for the general well-being--such 
were the aims of Knox's public action and the burden of his 
testimony in literature. 
With one great exception, no productions of Knox possess 
more than a historical interest as the expression of his own 
mind and temper and of the type of religion of which he was 
the unflinching exponent. Mainly controversial in character, 
neither by their literary quality nor by their substance were 
they found of permanent value even bythose towhom theymade 
special appeal. The long list of his writings, which had begun 
with The Epistle on Justification, was continued in England, 
where, for five years, we find him acting as an officially corn- 
missioned preacher of the reformation as it was sanctioned by 
the government of Edward VI. The titles of the pieces which 
he threw off during this period sufficiently indicate their nature 
and scope: .4 Vindication of the Doctrine that the Sacrifice of 
the .][ass is Idolatry (55o), A Summary according to the Holy 
Scriptures of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper (x55o), A 
Declaration of the True Nature aut Object of Prayer (553) and 
The Exposition upon the Sixth Psalm of David (x554). The 
accession of llary Tudor in July, 553, made England an 
impossible place for protestants like Knox, and his next five 
years, with the exception of a brief visit to Scotland, were 
spent on the continent, mainly in Geneva, where Calvin had 
already established his supremacy. 
Knox's exile on the continent gave occasion to another 
series of productions, all prompted by some pressing question 
of the moment. The protestants in England had to be corn- 
lotted and encouraged during their trying experiences under 
the government of Mary Tudor, and this end he sought to 
accomplish in his Two comfortable Epistles to his afflicted 
Brethren in Englaut (554) and in his Faithful Admonition to 
the Professors of God's Truth in England (554)--the latter of 
which, however, by its ill-timed attack on the existing authori- 

" Historie of the Reformatioun in Scotland" x6s 

situation, and where he was to produce the work which is the 
great literary monument of the time. As the immediate result 
of the victory of protestantism, appeared the First Book o] Dis- 
cipline, of which Knox was not, indeed, the sole author, but 
which bears his imprint on every page, and is the brief sum- 
mary of his ideals in religion and education. Here, as directly 
connected with the literary history of Scotland, we are only 
concerned with the scheme of national instruction which the 
book sets forth with detailed precision. In every parish there 
was to be a school and in every important town a college, from 
which the aptest scholars were to be sent to the three univer- 
sities-attendance in all three grades being exacted by state 
and church. The poverty of the country and protracted civil 
commotions prevented the scheme from being realised; but 
an ideal had been set forth which never passed out of sight, and, 
during successive centuries, the parish schools of Scotland were 
the nursing-homes of her most vigorous intellectual life. 
Like all his other works, Knox's Historie o] the reformatioun 
in Scotland was suggested by an immediate occasion and was 
written to serve a special purpose. Its express aim was to 
justify the proceedings of the protestant leaders who had been 
the chief instruments in overthrowing the ancient religion, 
and it was at their desire that he undertook the task. His 
book, therefore, is essentially that of an apologist and not of a 
historian; and he makes no disguise of the fact. That right 
and justice were all on one side and that those who opposed the 
reformation were blinded either by folly or iniquity, is his un- 
flinching contention from the first sentence to the last. So 
transparent is this assumption, however, that it hardly mis- 
leads the reader; and through what he may consider the per- 
'ersion of characters and events he cannot fail to discern their 
salient and essential traits. Thus, in the most remarkable 
parts of Knox's book, his interviews with queen Mary, the weak 
points in his own cause and in his own personal character are 
as manifest as those of his adversary. The History consists of 
five books, the last of which, however, is so inferior in vigour to 
the others that its materials must have been put together by 
another hand. It is in the first book, which traces the be- 
ginning and progress of the reformation in Scotland, that Knox 
displays his most striking gifts as a writer--such passages as 

I66 Reformation and Renascence in Scotland 

those describing the rout of Solway Moss, the mission and death 
of George Wishart and the battle of Pinkie being the nearest 
anticipation of Carlyle to be found in English literature. In 
the second and third books, we have one of the earliest ex- 
amples of an appeal to historical documents as vouchers for 
the truth of the narrative: fully three-fourths of these books 
consisting of papers supplied by the leaders of the reformation 
in Scotland and England. But it is the fourth book that has 
made the most vivid impression on the national memory, and 
may be said to have created the prevalent conception of the 
Scottish reformation. The theme of this book is the return of 
Mary to Scotland, and the compromise that followed between 
her and the reforming leaders. Here we have the reports of 
the dramatic interviews between Mary and Knox, and of his 
fulminations from the pulpit in the church of St. Giles, and 
here, also, those characterisations of Mary. and other leading 
personages which are written for all time. V%*hat Sainte- 
Beuve said of the Memoirs of Saint-Simon may be said with 
even greater truth of Knox's History: the periods before and 
after that which he describes are dim and obscure by compari- 
son. And it is a further tribute to the literary interest and 
importance of the book, that it is the first original work in 
prose which Scotland had yet produced. There had been 
translations and compilations in prose, but there had not, as 
yet, been any work which bore the stamp of individual genius 
and which might serve as a model for Knox's undertaking. 
In this fact, and in his long residence in England and associa- 
tion with Englishmen abroad, we have the explanation of the 
diction--the anglicised Scots--which was made a reproach to 
him by his Catholic adversaries. 
Knox's History is the chief literary monument of the Scot- 
tish reformation; but to the same period belong a number of 
works, more or less of a historical character, which prove that 
prose had now become an accredited vehicle of expression as 
well as verse. Next in literary quality to the work of Knox is 
The Historie ad CroMcles o[ Scotlad by Robert Lindesay of 
Pitscottie--one of the few productions of the time which can 
be read with interest at the present day. Lindesay was an 
ardent protestant, and, in the parts of his History where he 
deals with the change of the national religion, he is a thorough- 

Historians of the Period i67 

going partisan. With religion, however, he is not primarily 
concerned, and his aim is not controversial like that of Knox. 
What mainly interested him in the past were picturesque 
episodes illustrating the manners of the times and the char- 
acters of the leading actors; and it is to him that we owe some 
of the most lively pictures in the national historT. As his 
easy credulity as well as the structure of his book shows, 
Lindesay had no very severe criterion of historic accuracy. 
His account of the reign of James II (i436-6o), with which 
his History begins, is merely a translation of Hector Boece's 
Latin History o Scotland--a work of inventive imagination in 
which the wildest fables are recorded as ascertained facts. 
From i54_- onwards, he drew upon his own observation or on 
the testimony of eye-witnesses; but it is precisely in this por- 
tion of his work that he exhibits in least degree that gift of 
vivid narrative which made him the delight of Sir Walter 
Scott as the nearest approach to a Scottish Froissart. 
Of a different order is the work of Sir James 3Ielville of 
Halhill, who, first as page to queen Mary and, afterwards, as 
her ambassador, played a subordinate part in the transactions 
of his time. His Memoirs, in which he records his own ob- 
servations of what he had seen and heard in the course of his 
public life, still retain their value as one of the historical sources 
for the period. Though a protestant in religion, he possessed 
the confidence of Mary; and his sympathies are with her and 
not with her rival, Elizabeth. ,XIelville's point of view is 
that of the courtier and the diplomatist, and in his decorous 
and sober pages there is little indication of the seething pas- 
sions of the time. In the Memorials of Transactions in Scot- 
land (569-73) of Richard Barmatyne, Knox's secretary, we 
have another example of the stimulus given to historical narra- 
tive by the events of the reformation. In the form of a 
diary, Bannatyne records the events that he saw passing 
before his eyes in those momentous years when the victory of 
protestantism was definitely assured by the surrender of Edin- 
burgh Castle by the last champions of Mary. But the most 
memorable passages in the book are those which record the 
last days of his master, from whose hand there are some entries 
written in the most vigorous style of his History. Another 
example of the general interest in contemporarT events is the 

Roman Catholic Writers. John Major 171 

begun in 15o 3, of which the most notable was his Comwntary 
on the Four Books of the Senlewes of Peter Lombard (I5O9). 
In all these vorks, Major is the schoolman pure and simple; 
the subjects he treats, his manner of handling them, are those 
of the medieval logician when scholasticism had become an 
exhausted movement. For the men of the new order, there- 
fore, Major was an obscurantist against whom ridicule was the 
only appropriate weapon. Melanchthon selected him as the 
special object of attack in his reply to the condemnation of 
Luther by the Sorbonne. "I have seen John Major's 
mentaries o Peter Lombard," he writes; "he is now, I am told, 
the prince of the Paris divines. Good heavens ! What wagon- 
loads of trifling. . . If he is a specimen of the Parisian, no 
wonder they have so little stomach for Luther." A shaft was 
aimed at Major by a still greater hand; in the wonderful library 
of St. Victor in Paris, Pantagruel found a book entitled The 
Art of 3laki,g Puddings by John Major. Despite the mockery 
of the humanists, however, there are ideas and suggestions to 
be found in his voluminous disquisitions which prove that he 
vas a shrevd and independent thinker when he addressed 
himself to practical questions. No reformer saw more clearly 
or denounced more stringently the corruptions and abuses 
of the church as i existed in Scotland; he held as liberal opin- 
ions as his pupil Buchanan regarding the relations of rulers 
and subjects; and a suggestion which he threv out as to the 
most effective method of dealing with mendicancy was adopted 
with fruitful results in Germany and the Low Countries. But 
his good sense and independent judgment are best exemplified 
in his one book which is not a scholastic treatise---his Historia 
Ma]oris Britanniae tam Azgliae quam Scoriae. The Latin in 
which the History is written shows no trace of the influence of 
the revival of letters; it is the Latin of the schoolmen, impure, 
inharmonious and difficult. On the other hand, Major as a 
historian stands on a far higher level than that of the medieval 
chronicler. His work bears no evidence of great research, but 
he carefully selects the significant facts that were accessible to 
him, and judges men and events, if not with philosophic grasp, 
yet with a genial shrewdness which gives piquancy to his nar- 
rative. In six books he relates the history of the two countries 
from the earliest times till the reigns of Henry VII and James 

Reformation and Renascence in Scotland 

[or Reormatioun o Doctryne awl Manneris (I562), frankly 
admitted the corruptions of the Catholic church in Scotland, 
but contended that they afforded no rational ground for chang- 
ing the national religion. It is noteworthy in Winzet and 
other Roman Catholic writers of the time that they claimed to 
be the upholders of the national tradition not only in religion 
but in policy. In the alliance with England, but for whose in- 
tervention the reformation in Scotland would not have been 
accomplished, they saw the ruin of their country; and all things 
English were the objects of their special detestation. For this 
reason it was that they resented the intrusion of English words 
into the Scottish vocabulary, and regarded it as a patriotic 
duty to write in what they considered the purest Scots. In a 
well known sentence, Winzet caustically upbraids Knox (who, 
in point of fact, wrote for England as well as for Scotland) 
for his use of English modes of expression. "Gif you," he 
writes, "throw curiositie of novations has forget our auld 
plane Scottis quhilk your mother lerit you: in tymes cuming I 
sall write to you my mynd in Latin; for I am not acquynted 
with your Southeroun." 
The highest place among the Catholic writers of the period 
undoubtedly belongs to John Leslie, bishop of Ross, the friend, 
adviser and most distinguished champion of Mary, whom he 
attended during her imprisonment in England. Like many 
others of his Scottish contemporaries, Leslie chose history as 
his special province, and, like all the historians and chroniclers 
who have already been mentioned, he chose as his theme the 
history of his own country. His first work, written during his 
residence in England, took up the national history from the 
death of James I, where Hector Bocce had stopped, and con- 
tinued it to the year i56i. This fragment, composed in the 
vernacular, was followed up by a more ambitious performance 
in Latin (De Origine, Moribus el Rebus Scotoru,O, published 
at Rome in 578, in which he narrated the national history 
from its origins. In 596, this was translated into Scots by 
lather James Dalrymple, a Scottish monk at Ratisbon, but 
the manuscript was not published till i888. The first seven 
books of Leslie's Latin history are mainly an epitome of Hector 
Boece, and he is as credulous as Boece himself regarding freaks 
of nature and his country's legends. In the later portions of 

Hector Boece I75 

his work, however, he writes with seriousness and modera- 
tion, and his narrative of events during the reign of Mary is 
one of the valuable sources for the period. Writing as a 
dignitary of the church, he has his own point of view; but his 
natural equability of temper saved him from the explosions 
of Knox, while his mediocre gifts rendered his work common- 
place compared with that of his great rival. 
The works that have been enumerated belong, for the most 
part, to the main stream of the reformation literature, which 
may be regarded as the distinctive product of the period. 
Parallel with this main stream, however, there was another 
class of writings which, in greater or less degree, and more or 
less directly, proceeded from the secular movement of the 
renascence. It is a noteworthy fact in the historT of Scotland 
from the earliest Middle Ages, that, sooner or later, she came 
under the influence of every nev development in western 
Christendom. Especially since the war of independence 
against England, which had thrown her into the arms of 
France, her intercourse with the continent had been close and 
continuous. From the middle of the fourteenth centu-, there 
had been a constant stream of Scottish students to the univer- 
sity of Paris and to other universities of France, with the result 
that ever-)" novelty in the spheres of thought or action speedily 
found its way into Scotland. It was to be expected, there- 
fore, that the revival of learning would not leave Scotsmen 
untouched, and in one distinguished Scot its influence is mani- 
fest. This was Hector Boece, a native of Dundee, and subse- 
quently the first principal of the newly founded university of 
Aberdeen. Boece was a member of the university of Paris 
during the greater part of the last two decades of the fifteenth 
century, and was the esteemed fellow student and friend of 
Erasmus--a fact which, in itself, suggests that Boece's sym- 
pathies were with the new ideals of the time. And the char- 
acter of his two published works, his Vitae Episcoporzm 
Murthlacensium et Aberdo,ensium (1522), and his Historia 
Gentis Scotorum (i 5 2 7), show conclusi'ely that he had studied 
the classical writers in the new spirit. While his contemporary, 
John Major, who also studied at Paris, wrote his History o[ 
Greater Britain in the traditional style of the medieval chroni- 
clers, Boece deliberately made Livy his model and endeavoured 

t76 Reformation and Renascence in Scotland 

to reproduce his manner and method. His sole concern, in- 
deed, was to present his subject in the most attractive form 
of which it was capable, and his one aim to prove to the world 
that Scotland and her people had a history which surpassed 
that of every other country in point of interest and antiquity. 
His name is now a byword for the inventive chronicler; but 
he was not so regarded by his contemporaries, and, even so 
late as the eighteenth century, his astounding narrative of 
fabulous kings and natural wonders was seriously accepted by 
the majority of his countrymen. Translated into French by 
Nicolas d'Arfeville, cosmographer to Henri II, Bocce found 
wide currency on the continent, and in France, to the present 
day, many prevalent impressions of Scotland are traceable 
to his lively fancy. In England, Boece had still greater good 
fortune; his tale of Macbeth and Duncan, taken from him by 
Holinshed, supplied Shakespeare with the plot of his great 
tragedy, as well as with those vivid touches of local colour 
which abound in the play. 
But Boece's History is memorable for another reason besides 
its wide currency and its audacious fictions: it gave occasion to 
the first book in Scottish prose which has come down to us. 
At the instance of James V, who thus followed the example 
of other princes of the renascence, it was translated into Scots 
(153 6) by John Bellenden, archdeacon of Moray, one of the 
many versifiers who haunted the court. Bellenden proved 
an admirable translator--his flowing and picturesque style 
doing full justice to his original, while he added so much in 
Boece's own manner that he further adapted it to the tastes of 
the time. Also by the command of James--another illustra- 
tion of the influence of the renascence in Scotland--Bellenden 
undertook a Scottish translation of all the existing books of 
Livy, though only five were actually completed. Besides being 
a translator, Bellenden has claims as a poet on the strength 
of the versified prologues to his Lix3 and Boece's Histor 2 and 
other pieces, and it is specially for his skill in verse that 
his contemporary, Sir David Lyndsay, commends him as 

The cunnying clark, quhilk writith craftelie, 
The plant of poetis, callit Ballendyne, 
Quhose ornat warms my wit can nocht defyne. 

Reformation and Renascence in Scotland 

With few exceptions, the writings of Buchanan were 
prompted by some immediate occasion of the moment. As 
far as we know, it was during his second residence in Paris that 
he began to throw off those shorter poems mainly directed 
against idle and dissolute monks and priests, or against oppo- 
nents of the new studies which had resulted from the revival 
of learning. At this period, the struggle between the cham- 
pions of the old and the new studies was at its height in the 
schools of Paris, and it was in the teeth of the most vehement 
opposition on the part of the university that Francis I, in x 530, 
founded the Collbge Royal for the study of Greek, Latin and 
Hebrev. With all the energy of his ardent temper, Buchanan 
threw himself on the side of the reformers. In caustic epi- 
grams he denounced the obscurantism of those who opposed the 
study of the classical writers as these were now interpreted 
through the labours of the Italian humanists. But his most 
effectual contribution to the cause of the new studies at this 
time was his translation into Latin of Linacre's Grammar, 
published in Paris in x533, which ran through seven editions 
before the close of the century. In the dedication of the 
book to his pupil the earl of Cassillis, he takes the opportunity 
of stating the reasons for its publication, and his words deserx'e 
to be quoted as illustrating the ideals to which his life was 
dedicated and as clearly defining the position of the adversaries 
with whom he waged a lifelong battle. 
"But I am perfectly aware," he says, "that in translating this 
book many will think that I have given myself quite unnecessary 
trouble. We have already too many of such books, these persons 
will say, and, moreover, they add, can anything be said worth the 
saying which is not to be found in authors who have long enjoyed the 
approval of the schools? As for the novelties which make a large 
portion of this book, such as the remarks on the declensions of 
nouns, of relatives, and certain moods and tenses of verbs, they 
think them mere useless trifling. Such criticism can only come of 
sheer ignorance or the blindest prejudice, that will listen only to its 
own suggestions, and gravely maintains that departure from tradi- 
tion in such matters is to be regarded as a proof not so much of 
foolish self-confidence as of actual impiety. From these persons, 
so wise in their own conceit, I appeal to all men of real learning and 
sincere love of letters, confident that to all such Linacre will gener- 
ally commend himself." 

Reformation and Renascence in Scotland 

of Herod is pointed as the moral of all religious and political 
Buchanan must have known that it was at his own risk 
that he expressed these opinions in such a city as Bordeaux-- 
where heresy had, indeed, lately appeared, and where, about 
the date of the appearance of Baptisles, a heretic had actually 
been burned. It was doubtless, therefore, for reasons connected 
with his personal safety, that he left Bordeaux in 542-3, 
between which date and 547 we all but lose sight of him. 
To this period, however, belongs a poem which deserves 
special attention as being the most minutely personal of his 
productions and as illustrating what is notable throughout his 
life--the affection and regard in which he was held by the most 
distinguished scholars of the time. The poem, entitled AdPtole- 
lacum Luxium Tastacum ct Jacobum Taevi-um cure articulari 
morbo laboravit, was written on his sick bed, where he had lain 
for a 5-ear between life and death, and its burden is that his 
sufferings had been made light by the tender attention of 
friends, whose names and special services he enumerates in 
glowing remembrance. 
In 547, Buchanan received an invitation which was to 
lead to the most eventful experience in his chequered career and 
to the production of the most memorable of all his works. 
The invitation xvas to join a band of scholars, intended to 
complete the staff of teachers in the university of Coimbra in 
Portugal, which had been remodelled by king John III. 
Buchanan accepted the offer, but, within a year, the Jesuits, 
then supreme in Portugal, obtained control over the university, 
and Buchanan and others were accused of heresy and con- 
veyed to the Inquisition in Lisbon. During a year and a 
half, Buchanan was repeatedly under examination by the 
inquisitors, mainly on the charge of eating meat in Lent 
and of satirising the Franciscans. Convinced at length that, 
though he had been an erring son of the church, he was no 
heretic, they allowed him his liberty, but on the condition 
that he should spend six months in a neighbouring monastery 
in some penitential exercise. The penance which he chose, 
or which was imposed upon him, was his Psalmorum Davidis 
Paraphrasis Poetica--the work which more than any other 
has secured to him his eminent place among modern Latin 

Buchanan's "De Sphaera" 

poets. Buchanan's translation of the Psalms may fairly be 
considered one of the representative books of the sixteenth 
centur3", expressing, as it does, in consummate form, the con- 
junction of piety and learning which was the ideal of the best 
type of humanist. Versified translations of the Psahns were 
the favourite exercise of the scholars of every country, but, 
by general consent, Buchanan was acknowledged to have 
surpassed all competitors in the felicity of his rendering, and 
it was on the title-page of their editions of his translation 
that Henri and Robert Estienne assigned him the distinction 
above referred to, of being poetaru m wstri saeculi facile princeps. 
As a manual at once of piety and scholarship, it was received 
with universal acclamation. In Buchanan's own lifetime it 
was introduced into the schools of Germany and an edition, 
set to music, was published in  595- Till within recent )'ears, 
it was read in every school in Scotland where Latin was taught, 
and among educated Scotsmen of every shade of opinion it 
became their treasured companion, to which they had recourse 
for religious edification and solace. 
On the expiry of his time of penance in the monaster3.', 
Buchanan was at liberty to leave Portugal, and his first 
thought was to seek a home in England, now a protestant 
country under the rule of Edward VI. The distracted state 
of England, however, as he tells us, offered little prospect of 
peaceful employment to scholars, and, once more, he sought 
a haven in France--his second home, as he always considered 
it. In one of his most beautiful poems, Adventus in Galliam, 
he expresses his delight on finding himself again on its hos- 
pitable soil. "Buchanan," says de Thou, "was born by the 
banks of the Blanc in the country of the Lennox, but he 
was of us by adoption," and, in the glowing tributes he pays 
in these lines to the French and their country, Buchanan 
fully justified the statement. To the same period, also, belong 
his odes on the capture of Calais from the English and of 
5Ietz from Germany, in which he speaks with all the fervour 
and pride of a Frenchman in his country's triumph. In 555, 
Buchanan had been appointed tutor to Timoleon du Coss, 
son of Charles du Coss, comte de Brissac, one of the marshals 
of France, and the connection gave occasion to the most 
elaborate of all his poems--the poem entitled De Sphaera. All 

Buchanan's "De Jure Regni" 

a masque on the occasion of her marriage with Darnley, and 
celebrating the birth of her son, afterwards James VI, in a 
Genethliacon in which he did not conceal his opinions regarding 
the duties of rulers to their subjects. 
The murder of Darnley, the head, be it noted, of Buchanan's 
own clan, converted him into a bitter enemy of Mary, as, like 
all protestants, he believed that she was accessory to the 
crime. Hencefora-ard, therefore, he identified himself with 
the political and religious party which drove her from the 
throne, and it was in the interests of that party that his 
subsequent writings were mainly produced. In his Detectio, 
written at the request of the protestant lords, he has presented 
their case against Mary with a vehemence of statement which 
can only be understood and justified by comparison with the 
polemical writings of contemporary scholars. In the service 
of the same cause, he produced the only two pieces which he 
wrote in vernacular Scots--Chamacleon, a satire on Maitland 
of Lethington, and the Admonition to the trew Lordis, a warning 
to the protestant lords themselves regarding their past and 
future policy. What is noteworthy in these two pamphlets 
is that Buchanan shows the same mastery of the Scottish 
language as he does of Latin, and their periodic sentences 
are an exact reproduction of his Latin models. But Buchan- 
an's eatest literary achievement of this period was his Return 
Scoticarum Historia, published in 582, the year of his death, 
in which he related the history of Scotland from its origin 
till the death of the regent Lennox in 57. Dedicated to 
James VI, with whose education he had been entrusted, the 
underlying object of the book is the inculcation of those 
principles of political and religious liberty of which Buchanan 
had been the consistent champion throughout his career. By 
the leading scholars of Europe it was adjudged to be a work 
of transcendent merit, and even in the eighteenth century it 
was seriously debated whether Caesar, LiT, or Sallust had 
been his model. In this Hislor3, which for fully two centuries 
kept its place as a standard authority, Buchanan had appealed 
both to scholars and protestant theologians, and in another 
work, De Jure Regni apzd Scotos (i579) , he made a still wider 
appeal on questions which were then agitating every country 
in Christendom. Written in the form of a dialogue (between 

,86 Reformation and Renascence in Scotland 

Thomas Maitland and Buchanan) this treatise is, virtually, 
an apology for the Scottish reformation, and, as a classic 
exposition of protesLant political theory, it found wide ac- 
ceptance both in Britain and on the continent--Dryden in 
the following century even accusing Milton of having embodied 
it in his Dcfence of the People of Ezgland. 
" No man," says archbishop Spottiswoode, "did better merit 
of his nation for learning, nor thereby did bring it to more 
glow," and this is Buchanan's specific and pre-eminent claim 
to the regard of his countrymen. Read as classics by all 
educated Scotsmen, his works, prose and verse, perpetuated 
the study of Latin, which, to the comparative neglect of Greek, 
remained a rooted tradition in the curriculum of a learned 
education in Scotland. Scotland, as has already been said, 
owing to conditions peculiar to itself, was more powerfully 
affected by the reformation than by the renascence, yet, through 
the work of Buchanan, and of others of kindred tastes, though 
less distinguished than himself, one result, at least, was secured 
from both movements: religion has ever been associated with 
learning in the wand of the Scottish people. 


The New English Poetry 

HE reign of Henry VIII was not, as students of history 
know, a period of unbroken internal peace. Neverthe- 
less, when the wars of the Roses were over and a feeling 
of security had been induced by the establishment of a strong 
dynasty, a social and intellectual life became possible in England 
which the troubles of the reigns of Henry VIII and his two 
successors were sufficient to check but not to destroy. More 
important still, England, having more or less settled her 
internal troubles by a judicious application of the balancing 
system, became a poxver to be reckoned with in European 
politics. This brought her into touch with the kingdoms 
of the continent, and so, for the first time in a more than 
incidental way, submitted her intellectual life to the influences 
of the renascence. The inspiration of the new poetry, we shall 
find, was almost entirely foreign. It was upon French, and, 
especially, upon Italian, models that the courtiers of I-{enry 
VIII founded the poems which now began to be written in 
large numbers. The extent to which the practice of versifying 
prevailed cannot now be gauged; but modern investigation 
shows it to have been very wide. To make poems was one 
of the recognised accomplishments of the knight as conceived 
in the last phase of chivalry, the days with which we are, for 
the moment, concerned; and it is not, perhaps, too much to 
say that ever3" educated man made poems, which, if approved, 
were copied out by his friends and circulated in manuscript, 
or included in song-books. It was not, however, till 557 
that some few were, for the first time, put into print by Richard 
Tottel, in the volume, Songes 

Sir Thomas Wyatt 

king wished to make that lady his wife, Wyatt informed him 
of his previous relations with her. Whatever the truth of an 
obscure matter, Wyatt was chief ewer at the coronation of 
Henry's second queen in 1533; and, though we find him com- 
mitted to the Tower in May, 1536, the period of her doxvnfall, 
it was probably only as a witness. One of his sonnets, It'hoso 
list lo hunl, has clear reference to Anne Boleyn, ending, as it 
does, with the line" "Noli me laugere; for Caesar's I am"; 
for, though it is imitated from Romanello t or Petrarch (i57, 
Una candida cerva), it may yet be of personal application. 
There is also an epigram Of His Love called A zna, and another 
reference to Anne has been found by some in the sonnet 
Though I myself be bridled of my mid. His confinement in May, 
1536, was, undoubtedly, one of the facts in his life which induced 
him to regard May as his unlucky month.  
It will be seen that Wyatt frequently travelled abroad, 
and that he spent a period of some months in Italy. And it 
was from Italy that he drew the ideas and the form by means of 
vhich English poetry was rejuvenated. The changes which 
English versification passed through in the period between 
Chaucer and the Elizabethans are described elsewhere, a 
Neither the principles of rhythm and accent, it would seem, 
not even the grammar of Chaucer were fully understood by 
his followers, Lydgate, Occleve and Hawes. In place of 
Chaucer's care in arranging the stress and pause of his line, 
here is chaotic carelessness; and the diction is redundant, 
feeble and awkward. .Meanwhile, the articulate final -e, of 
which Chaucer made cunning use, had been dropping out of 
common speech, and the accent on the final syllable of words 
derived from the lVrench, such as favour, virlue, lravail, had 
begun to move back to the first syllable, with the result of 
producing still further prosodical confusion and irregularity. 
It was the mission of Wyatt and his junior contemporary, 
Surrey, to substitute order for confusion, especially by means 
of the Italian influence which they brought to bear on English 
poetry, an influence afterwards united by Spenser (Gabriel 
Harvey assisting) with the classical influence. 

According to Nott, p. 57 x- 
Cf. the sonnet: Ye ttzat in love nde hck. 
See post, Chap. xiiI. 

Wyatt's Sonnets 

continually falling but always pressing forward. Perhaps the 
best way of illustrating his merits and his shortcomings is 
to quote one of his sonnets in full; and it will be convenient 
for the purpose to take his version of a sonnet of Petrarch 
which was also translated by Surrey, in order to compare 
later the advance made by the younger writer. 

The longe love, that in my thought I harber, 
And in my hart doth kepe his residence, 
Into my face preaseth with bold pretence, 
And there campeth, displaying his banner. 
She that me learns to love, and to suffer, 
And willes that my trust, and lustes negligence 
Be reined by reason, shame, and reverence, 
With his hardinesse, takes displeasure. 
Wherwith love to the hartes forest he fleeth, 
Leavyng his enterprise with paine and crye, 
And there him hideth and not appeareth. 
What may I do? when my maister feareth, 
But in the field with him to live and dye, 
For good is the life, endyng faithfully. 

The author of this sonnet clearly has much to learn. The 
scanning of barber, banner, suffer, campelh, preaselh, forest 
as iambics is comprehensible; but, in line 6, we have to choose 
between a heaxT stress on the unimportant word my, or an 
articulated final -e in lustcs; while, in line 8, we can hardly 
escape hardiwsse, and must have either lales again, or dis- 
pl-a-s're (a possibility which receives some very doubtful 
support from line 8 of the sonnet, Love, Forluw, aM ,uy mide, 
in the almost certainly corrupt version in the first edition 
of Tollel's ]lIiscella,y). In lines  i and 12, we find the curious 
fact that appeareth is rimed with eareth, not on the double 
rime but on the last syllable only; while the last line throws 
a heavy emphasis on the. The author, in fact, seems to have 
mastered the necessity of having ten syllables in a decasyllabic 
line, but to be very" uncertain still in questions of accent and 
rhythm. Some of the lines irresistibly suggest a man counting 
the syllables on his fingers, as, indeed, the reader is often com- 
pelled to do on a first acquaintance; on the other hand, we 
find a beautiful line like the tenth, which proves the author 
however unskilled as yet, to be a poet. The use of the caesura 

Wyatt's Treatment of Love 193 

metaphors as may be. Take, for instance, Wyatt's sonnet 
My galley charged with ]orget]ulnesse, which is copied from 
Petrarch's Passa la nave mia colma d'obblio. His heart is a 
ship, steered cruelly through a winter sea by his foe, who 
is his lord; the oars are thoughts; the winds are sighs and 
fearfulness; the rain is tears; the clouds are disdain; the cords 
are twisted with error and ignorance; while reason, that should 
be his consort (or comfort), is drowned. If there were nothing 
of superior matter to this in Vyatt, his achievement would 
almost be limited to his metrical reforms; but the genuineness 
and originality of the poet are shown in other sonnets in 
which he either alters his original, modifying some more than 
usually strained conceit into something in better taste, or 
writes with no original but his own heart. See the close of 
his sonnet, Lyke unto these umesurable mountaines, imitated 
from Melin de St. Gelays, or lines 5-8 in his sonnet, ]'et was 
I w't'er o your love agreved, in which he flatly contradicts 
the sentiment of Petrarch. And, more than once, he flies 
in the face of the slavery to the mistress prescribed in the 
code of chivalric love from which he drew much of his inspira- 
tion; declaring roundly (e.g. in the sonnet, My love to skorn) 

_As there is a certayn time to rage: 
So is there time such madnes to aswage; 
and bids his cruel mistress a manly farewell. It is not fanciful, 
perhaps, to find such a sentiment characteristically English. 
The chivalric ideal, codified in Castiglione's II Cortegiaw, 
was, as we shall see further in discussing Surrey, of great 
weight in this, the last century of chivalry in England; but 
there is, perhaps, something in our temperament that forbade 
its complete acceptance in the matter of the servitude of love. 
The same sentiment appears even more clearly in W,att's 
lyrics not in sonnet form and especially in those composed of 
short lines. A delightful song in three quatrains of octosyllabic 
lines, BIadame, withouten many wordes, is as brave and cavalier 
a way of demanding a "yes" or "no" as Suckling himself could 
have uttered; and What should I say.t Since Faith is dead, 
a little song of tetrasyllabic lines with a refrain, is a resolute 
if graceful farewell, It is in these lighter lyrics that some of 

I94 The New English Poetry 

Wyatt's finest work is to be found. Forget not yet the tried 
iztent is known to all readers of poetr3". It is marked, with 
other poems, by two things: the use of the refrain and the 
unmistakable impression it conveys of having been written to 
be sung. The refrain is a valuable means of knitting a poem 
together, helping Wyatt almost as much as the practice 
of the short poem--in a metre imitated, as a rule, from Italian 
or French--towards being clear, exact and musical. Of the 
influence of music on the writing of poetry more will be said 
elsewhere. It would be rash to state that in the reign of 
Henry VIII music so far followed the rhythm of poetry" as to 
exert a good influence on its form. Still, a lyric was, in those 
days, written, as a matter of course, to be sung, and when 
poems sing themselves it may be safe to give to music a share 
in the good work. We do not find in Wyatt the elaborate 
metrical harmonies that grew up in Elizabeth's days. His 
stanzas are always short, and simple in construction, without 
much involution of rime, and they have a sweetness, a dignity 
and a sincerity that make them strongly attractive. But 
their place in the history of English poetry, is more important 
than their intrinsic qualities. Here, for the first time, we 
find deliberately studied and worked upon by the poetic 
imagination that cry of the heart, which, beginning with the 
recognised pains of the chivalric lover, became the subject, in 
a thousand moods and forms, of what may not unfairly be 
considered the finest achievement of English poetry. 
Besides sonnets and other lyrics, VTyatt's work falls under 
three heads: epigrams, satires and devotional pieces. Epigram 
means, xvith Wyatt, not a stinging stave of wit, but a single 
conceit or paradox vividly expressedwfor instance: The 
lovcr comparclh his hart to the over-charged gonne (which may be 
specially noticed because a later use of the same idea will 
help to show the deterioration of the school of Wyatt); Com- 
pariso o love to a streame alling rom the Alpes; How by a kisse 
he fo,t**d both his life a,d death; and so forth. The epigrams, 
indeed, differ little in matter from the more metaphysical of 
the sonnets; though, here and there, we find the form used for 
the strong expression of personal feeling, as in Wiat, bei,,g 
in prison, to Brian (written, probably, during his incarceration 
in  g4o, to his friend Sir Francis Bryan, also a poet), and in 

Wyatt's Satires 

The Lover professeth himself costant. For the matter of a few 
of the epigrams, and for the construction of all, Wyatt's 
model is the Strambotti of Serafino; the form throughout 
is a decasyllabic octave riming abababcc, and, for his ideas, 
the writer generally sought far and wide through such foreign 
and classical learning as he possessed. Seneca, Josephus 
and Ausonius (possibly following Plato) are among the authors 
on whom he draws. Of greater interest, both intrinsic and 
technical, are his satires, which were written in his retirement 
at Allington towards the close of his active and chequered 
life. They are three in number. The first, O/ the meaze 
and sure estate written to Joh, Points, tells the fable of the 
town and country mouse, which he adapts from Horace 
(Sat. II, vi), being, possibly, acquainted also with Henryson's 
poem The Uponlautis Mous and the Burges Mos, though that 
poem was not yet printed; while the conclusion is enlarged 
from Persius, Sat. III. The second, O]  the courtiers li]e a'ritte 
to John Point.s, is an adaptation of a satire of Luigi Alamarmi, 
and explains that the author, scorning the obsequiousness 
and deceit demanded of courtiers, finds it better to live in 
retirement; the third, How to use the court and him sel[e therin, 
written to syr Frauces Bryant, takes its general ideas from 
Horace's advice to Tiresias (Sat. , v), and preaches ironically 
the doctrine, "Put money in thy purse." The adaptations 
are free, and ideas are drawn from more than one author. 
There are several references for instance, to Chaucer, and the 
references are, in general, modernised. Adaptations though 
they be, these satires have ever5" mark of sincerity. The evils 
of court life and the blessings of honest retirement are a common 
theme with the authors collected in Tottel's MisceIla,ty; no 
other contributor writes with such convincing fervour, such 
manly rectitude, as Wyatt. His personality and his strong feel- 
ing are more patent in the satires than in any other of his poems ; 
and their very ruggedness of form seemsas in the later 
case of Donne or lIarstonto be adopted for the better ex- 
pression of honest indignation. Fifty years afterwards, Hall, 
the author of the Virgidemiar-um, believed himself to be the 
first English satirist, and from the fact that Wyatt's satires 
were not previously imitated it is clear that he was in advance 
of his time. The metre adopted by Wyatt is that of Alamanni, 

Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey x97 

Surrey and duke of Norfolk, and himself became, by courtesy, 
earl of Surrey in  524, on his father's succeeding to the dukedom. 
From a poem to which reference will be made Iater it seems 
possible that he was educated with the duke of Richmond, 
Henry VlI's natural son, who, later, married his sister. At 
any rate, he was brought up in all the virtues and practices of 
chivalry, which find a large place in his poems. He visited 
the Field of the Cloth of Gold with the duke of Richmond, 
possibly accompanied him thence to Paris to study and lived 
with him, later, at Windsor. In 536, the duke died, and 
the same year saw the execution of Surrey's cousin, Anne 
Boleyn. In 54o, we fred him a leader in the tournament 
held at the marriage of Anne of Cleves, and, after a mission 
to Guisnes, he was appointed, in 54, steward of Cambridge 
university. Part of the nexc year he spent in the Fleet prison, 
on a charge of having sent a challenge; but, being soon released 
on payment of a heavy fine, he began his military career by 
joining his father in an expedition against the Scots. The 
next episode in his life is difficult of explanation: he was 
brought before the privy council on a charge of eating meat in 
Lent and of breaking windows in the city with a cross-bow. 
His oaa explanation was (cf. London ! llast thou accltsd 
that it was an access of protestant fervour: he regarded himself 
as "a figure of the Lord's behest," sent to warn the sinful 
city of her doom. In this connection, it is fair to remember 
that, later, he was accused of being inimical to the new religion. 
The ob'ious explanation was that the proceeding was a piece 
of Mohockism on the part of a (possibly intoxicated) man of 
twenty-seven. At any rate, Surrey had to suffer for the excess. 
He was again shut up in the Fleet, where, probably, he para- 
phrased one or more of the psalms. On his release, he was sent, 
in October,  543, to join the English troops then assisting the 
emperor in the siege of Landrecy; and, in  544, he won further 
military honour by his defence of Boulogne. On his return, 
he was thrown into prison at Windsor, owing to the intrigues 
of his father's enemy, Jane Seymour's brother, the earl of 
Hertford; was released, again imprisoned, and beheaded in 
January,  546/7. 
In his military prowess, his scholarship, his position at court, 
his poetry and his mastery in chivalric exercises, Surrey is alo 

"Poulter's Measure" 199 

Love that liveth, and reigneth in my thought, 
That built his seat within my captive brest, 
Clad in the armes, wherin with me he fought, 
Oft in my face he doth his banner rest. 
She, that me taught to love, and suffer payne, 
My doutfull hope, and eke my hote desyre, 
With shamefast cloke to shadowe and refraine, 
Her smilyng grace converteth straight to yre. 
And cowarde Love then to the hart apace 
Taketh his flight, whereas he lurkes, and plaines 
His purpose lost, and dare not shewe his face. 
For my lordes gilt thus faultlesse byde I paynes. 
Yet from my lorde shall not my foote remove, 
Swete is his death, that takes his end by love. 

The advance in workmanship is obvious at a glance. There 
is no need to count Surrey's syllables on the fingers, and the 
caesuras are arranged with variety and skill. The first line 
contains one of the very few examples in Surrey's poems of an 
accented weak syllable (livkth), and there, as in nearly all the 
other cases, in the first txvo feet of the line. It will be noticed, 
hovever, that, whereas Wyatt was content with two rimes for 
his octave, in Petrarchian fashion, Surrey frankly makes up 
his sonnet of three quatrains and a couplet, which was the 
form the sonnet mainly took in the hands of his Elizabethan 
followers. Once or twice, Surrey runs the same pair of rimes 
right through his first twelve lines; but gains, on the vhole, 
little advantage thus. Whichever F, lan he follows, the result 
is the same: that, improving on Wyatt's efforts, he makes 
of the sonnet--what had never existed before in English poetry 
--a single symphonic effect. It is worth noting, too, that, 
though his references to Chaucer are even more frequent 
than Wyatt's, Surrey polishes and refines, never leaving unal- 
tered the archaisms which Wyatt sometimes incorporated with 
his own language. 
A favourite metre of Surrey--a metre used now and then 
by Wyatt, too---is one of which the student of this period may 
grow tired as he traces its decadence through Turbervile, 
Googe and others, to its brief restoration to honour in the 
hands of Southwell. It was of English origin, being, probably, 
a development of the ballad quatrain, and was commonly 

2o2 The New English Poetry 

reflections on the brevity of life show a serious and devout 
mind, and possibly his best poem is When I look back, in which 
he craves the forgiveness of God for the faults and follies of 
youth. John Heywood is better "known as a playvright than 
as a lyrical poet; the single poem which appears in Tottd's 
Miscellany is a not unpleasing description of the physical 
and moral charms of his lady, in a style which became ex- 
ceedingly common. For chastity, she is Diana, for truth, 
Penelope; after making her, nature lost the mould, and so 
forth. But the freshness has not yet worn off such statements, 
and the poem not only has a natural sweetness about it, but 
contains one of the few simple references to country things 
which are to be found in the volume. Somerset's contribu- 
tion is entitled The pore estate to be holden for best, and merely 
states, in two septets of rimed twelve-syllabled lines, a favourite 
commonplace with these authors. The fact that the first 
letters of the lines with the last letter of the last line make 
up the author's name, is significant of artificiality. 
From one point of view, Grimald is a very interesting poet. 
About Wyatt, Surrey and Vaux there is no trace of the pro- 
fessional author. Their poetry was partly the accomplishment 
of their class, partly the natural expression of feelings aroused 
by their own lives and the life of their day. Grimald was no 
courtier, and his literary work was that of the professed man 
of letters. Educated at Cambridge and Oxford, he became 
chaplain to bishop Ridley, under whom he translated a work 
of Aeneas Sy'lvius and Laurentius Valla's book against the 
donation of Constantine. Early in Mary's reign, he was im- 
prisoned for heresy, but recanted, and is said to have become 
a spy during the Marian persecutions. In I556, Tottel had 
published Grimald's translation of Cicero De O]ficiis; and it 
has been supposed, not without possibility, that he was asso- 
ciated with Tottel, perhaps as editor, in the publication of 
the Miscellany. The first edition (June, 1557) contained forty of 
his poems, and gives his name in full. In the second edition, 
published a month later at least thirty of these poems have 
disappeared, and the author's name has shrunk to N.G. The 
facts have never been explained. Grimald is particularly 
fond of "potlter's measure" and long lines, which, mainly 
by good tse of his learning, he succeeds in keeping above the 

2o6 The New English Poetry 

and sailors of England from the time of Henry VIII, and his 
descriptions of the sieges of Leith and Edinburgh are among 
the best of his narrative poems. In the next year, 1579 , he 
appears in a new light as devising and describing "shows" for 
the queen on her progresses. Others of his principal works 
were The Praise o] Poetrie (1595), in which he attempted to 
do in verse what Sidney's Apologie had done in prose, and The 
IVorthines o] IVales (1587), a vigorous book which, to some 
extent, anticipates the Poly-Olbion of Michael Drayton. He 
translated three books of Ovid's Tristia and began a trans- 
lation of Pliny which he destroyed. Grumbling, hoping, 
quarrelling and making friends again, with Nashe (who realised 
his merit) and others, paying fine homage to the great men of 
his day, he continued writing till his voice sounded strange 
in the new era, long after Colin Clout had described him as 
"Old Palaemon that sung so long untill quite hoarse he grew." 
The decadence of the school of Wyatt and Surrey may be 
seen in other miscellanies, which will soon be considered; but, 
for the moment, we must turn aside to a poet who felt none of 
the Italian infiuencemThomas Tusser. 

Tusser, who was born in Essex about 1525, became a 
singing boy at St. Paul's, was at Eton under Nicholas Udall, 
who, he records, flogged him, and went on to King's College 
and Trinity Hall, Cambridge. Leaving the university for 
reasons of ill-health, he entered, as a musician, the service of 
William lord Paget, who, later, was prix3" seal to Mary. Of 
lord Paget and his two sons, Henry and Thomas, in succession, 
he considered himself ever afteravards the retainer. In 1553, 
or thereabouts, he left London for a farm near Brantham, in 
Suffolk, where he introduced into England the culture of barley. 
In 1557, he published his Hutdreth good pointes o] husbandrie, 
which was enlarged in 157o, or earlier, by A huutreth good 
poynts o huswiery, again, in 573, to Five hundreth pointes o 
good husbautry, and again in 1577 and 158oto run through 
five more editions before the end of the century. His life 
was restless. At one time we find him a lay-clerk in Nor- 
wich cathedral, thanks to Sir Robert Southwell, of the family 
of Southwell the poet; later, he is quarrelling over tithes near 
Witham, in Essex, then in London, and again in Cambridge, 

214 The New English Poetry 

rious of all. In A Gorgious Gallery of Gallant Inveztions ( 578), 
the faults that developed in the school after the death of 
Surrey became more pronounced. Alliteration is almost in- 
cessant, and the metre which we have found constantly gaining 
in favour and deteriorating in quality here runs wild. The 
book was edited, or, rather, "joyned together and builded 
up," by one T. P. (Thomas Proctor), who contributes Pretie 
Pamphlets or Proctor's Precepts and other poems. Another 
contributor is Owen Roydon, who complains of the "sicophan- 
tes," by vhich, like Turbervile, he intends the critics. Short 
gnomic verses on the virtues are common; Troilus and Cressida 
are constantly to the front; loving letters (from beyond the 
seas and elsewhere) are frequent; subject, indeed, and method 
show a complete lack of freshness and conviction, and we are 
treated to the dregs of a school. One poem, however, Thctgh 
Fortune cannot favor, is, at least, manly and downright; 
The gl)'ttcring shcnves of Floras dames has lyrical quality; 
and certain Prety parables and proverbes of love are interesting 
by their use of anapaests. The Gorgicts Gallery, too, contains 
the popular and famous song, Sing all of green willow. 
The next miscellany, which is the last book to be mentioned 
here, was .4 Hmutefull of pleasant delites, by Clement Robin- 
son and others, of which the only copy k_qown, that in the 
British Museum, was published, in t584, by Richard Jones, 
a publisher of ballads. The Stationers' register, however, 
shows that, in  566, a lieence was issued to Clement Robinson 
for "a boke of very pleasaunte Sonettes and storyes in myter." 
The 584 volume, therefore, has been thought to be a later 
edition of the book of x 566, into which were incorporated poems 
vritten since that date. It may be noted that every poem 
in the Handefull has its tune assigned it by name. This 
practice was not un-known in earlier anthologiesin the 
Gorgious Gallery, for instance. In the Hautefull, it is con- 
sistently folloved. The tunes assigned are, sometimes, those 
of well -known dances, "the new Rogero," the "Quarter Brailes," 
the "Black Almaine"; or of popular ballads, such as "Green- 
sleeves." Of the influence of music on the lyrical poetry of 
the age more will be said in a later chapter. So far as the 
Hawlefull is concerned, though by no means free from doggerel, 
its contents ha,e often an honest life and spirit about them, 


"A Mirror for Magistrates" 

A Mirror for Magistrates constitutes an important link 
between medieval and modem literature. It is a mon- 
ument of industry, extending, in its most recent edition 
to more than I4oo closely printed pages, and retailing stories 
of misfortune and wickedness in high places, stretching from 
the time of Albanact (s.c. io85) to that of queen Elizabeth. 
Its very title recalls a large class of earlier works, of which 
Gower's Speculum Meditantis or Mirour de l'Omme is a con- 
spicuous example. Its aim is medieval, whether we take the 
statement of its editor, Baldwin, in the address to the nobility-- 
"here as in a loking glass, you shal se if any vice be in you, 
how the like hath ben punished in other heretofore, wherby 
admonished, I trust it will be a good occasione to move to the 
amendment"---or that in the address to the reader--" which 
might be as a mirour for al men as well nobles as others to shewe 
the slipery deceiptes of the wavering lady, and the due rewarde 
of all kinde of vices." Its plan of stringing together a number 
of "tragedies" is medieval in its monotonyso much so that 
Chaucer put into the mouth of both Knight and Host a vigorous 
protest against it as adopted by himself in The Monk's Tale. 
The scheme of the Mirror, with its medieval device of an 
interlocutor, was taken over directly from Lydgate's transla- 
tion (through Premierfait) of Boccaccio's De Casibus Virorum 
Illustrium, of which, indeed, the Mirror is a continuation: 
originally, it was intended to be bound up in one volume with 
The Fall o[ Priwes, and the first "tragedy," in all the earlier 
editions, is entitled The Falle of Robert Tresilia,t. On the 
other hand, the Mirror had a large share in the development of 
historical poems and history plays in the Elizabethan period, 

"A Mirror for Magistrates" 

intended to write other "complaints," and there is some 
probability in Courthope's suggestion that "when the Council 
prohibited the publication of the book, probably on account 
of its modern instances, he resolved to begin with ancient 
history." According to the testimony of both Baldwin and 
Niccols, he intended to begin at the Conquest and to fill 
the gap between o66 and 388, which, as a matter of fact, 
was not filled until 6o. But that Sackville was one of the 
partners in the original design is doubtful, as he was only 
eighteen years of age when the first edition of the Mirror was 
being printed. 
Baldwin says in his "Epistle dedicatory" (559)" "The 
wurke was begun, and part of it printed .iiii. years agoe," 
and this statement is borne out by a curious circumstance 
pointed out by W. F. Trench. The title-page of the first 
edition has survived at the end of a few copies of Wayland's 
edition of Lydgate's Fall o] Princes, and, on the reverse, 
Wayland printed his licence, dated 2o October, 553, and 
beginning: "Mary by the grace of God, Quene of Englande, 
Fraunce, and Ireland, d4eutour of the aith aut in earth o 
the Churche of Englatde, and also of Irela,d, the suprene head." 
.XIary was relieved of the title "head of the church" by a statute 
passed 4 January,  555, and it was informally dropped some 
months before that time. In the letter of John Elder to the 
bishop of Caithness, dated i January, 555, and printed by 
Wayland, the letters patent are reproduced with the omission 
of the words italicised above. Wayland was a good Catholic 
and a printer of (mainly) religious books, and, naturally, he 
would make haste to conform with the law. Elder's letter, 
printed in 1555, shows that he did so, and A nemorial o] sche 
Priwes as sitce the tyze o[ King Richard the Secowle have 
been ,tn[ortuate in the Realne o[ England (so runs the original 
title-page) must have been printed in 554. 
Wayland, however, was not the printer who originated 
the undertaking, and his attempt to carry it into execution 
was hindered by the lord chancellor, Stephen Gardiner. 
By the time that a licence had been procured through the 
influence of lord Stafford, Wayland had gone out of business, 
and the first editions issued to the public were printed by 
Thomas ,XIarsh. The first editor of the Mirror, William 

The Original Design  I9 

Baldwin, apparently began his connection with the work 
of publishing as servant to Edward Whitchurch, who pub- 
lished his Treatise of lIoral PhilosoDhy (1547) and The Canticles 
(1549). On the accession of queen Mary, Whitchurch, who 
was a zealous protestant, apparently gave up business, and 
sold his stock-in-trade to Wayland and Tottel. Baldwin then 
entered the service of Wayland, who had taken over Whit church's 
office at the sign of the Sun in Fleet street; and from his 
presses were issued Baldwin's Brief Memorial (i 554) and a new 
edition of the 2/Ioral PhilosoDhy (1555). Whitchurch had 
in hand an edition of Lydgate's Fall of Princes, and this was 
taken.up by both Wayland and Tottel. Tottel's edition bore 
a title-page including one of Whitchurch's ornamental borders, 
marked with his initials; Wayland's was issued from Whit- 
church's former office. Whitchurch, therefore, as Trench 
has shown, was the printer referred to in the extract from 
Baldwin's address "To the Reader" given below (1559) ; 
and this conclusion is borne out by the fact that those concerned 
in the enterprise were, with the exception of Wayland, all 
protestants. It leads to the further inference that the book 
was first planned in the reign of Edward VI. 
The origin of the enterprise is best set forth in Baldwin's 
own words in the following extract from his address "To 
the Reader" (1559) : 

When the printer had purposed with hym selfe to printe Lidgate's 
booke of the fall of Princes, and had made privye thereto, many 
both honourable and worshipfull, he was counsailed by dyvers 
of them, to procure to have the storye contynewed from where as 
Bochas lefte, unto this presente time, chiefly of such as Fortune 
had dalyed with here in this ylande ... which advice liked him 
so well, that hee requyred mee to take paynes therein. 

Baldwin refused to undertake the task without assistance, 
and the printer, presumably still Whitchurch, persuaded divers 
learned men to take upon them part of the work. 

And when certayne of them to the numbre of seaven, were 
through a generall assent at one apoynted time and place, gathered 
together to devise thereupon I resorted unto them, bearing with mee 
the booke of Bochas, translated by Dan Lidgate, for the better 
observation of his order: which although wee liked well yet would 

220 "A Mirror for Magistrates" 

it not conveniently serve, seeing that both Bochas and Lidgate 
were deade, neyther -ere there any alive that medled -ith like 
argument, to whome the unfortunate might make theyr mone. 
To make therefore a state meete for the matter, they all agreede that 
I shoulde usurpe Bochas' rome, and the 'retched princes complayne 
unto mee : and tooke upon themselves, every man for his part to be 
sundry personages, and in theyr behalfes to bewaile unto mee theyr 
greevous chaunces, heavy destenies, and woefull misfortunes. 
Ferrets marvelled that Bochas had forgotten, among his 
miserable princes, those of our own nation--Britons, Danes, 
Saxons and English down to his ovn time. 
It 'ere therefore a goodly and notable matter, to searche and 
discourse our whole story from the first beginning of the inhabiting 
of the isle. But seeing the printer's mind is to have us followe 
where Lidgate left, wee will leave that greate laboure to other that 
inaye entende it, and (as one being bold first to breake the yse) 
I will begin at the time of Richarde the second, a time as unfortunate 
as the ruler therein. 

The original design was, therefore, suggested to Whitchurch, 
and by him committed to Baldwin and his associates. Ferrers 
thought of beginning from the time of the ancient Britons, 
and it was the printer vho decided that they should "follow 
where Lidgate left." Baldwin intended to continue the story 
to queen Iary's time, but he was fain to end it much sooner. 
"Whan I first tooke it in hand, I had the help of many graunted 
and offred of sum, but of few perfourmed, skarce of any" 
("To the Nobilitie," 1559)" The original design of the ;Iirror 
was not carried out in its entirety until 6o; all the later 
contributions to it were contemplated in the plans of the orig- 
inal authors, and were, as we shall see, accomplished in 
consequence of their suggestions. 
What were to have been the contents of the original issue 
in folio, we do not know, except that they included the tragedies 
of Richard II and Owen Glendower, and, probably, most of 
those of part  (1559) and some of part II (1563). 

It appears from the end-links of Clarence (Quarto I) and 
Shore's Wife (Q ) that Baldwin planned three parts or volumes: 
first to the end of Edward IV's reign; then, to the end of 
Richard III; and, lastly, "to the ende of this King and 

222 "A Mirror for Magistrates" 

in 1575 (Q 5)- The sixth quarto (1578) is a reprint of the 
fifth, except that it includes the long promised tragedies of 
Eleanor Cobham and Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, by 
The first and last parts were united in an edition published 
by .Marsh in 1587, and edited by Higgins, who had rewritten 
his own legends of Bladud, Forrex and Porrex, and added to 
his list Iago, Pinnar, Stater, Rudacke, Brennus, Emerianus, 
Chirinnus, Varianus, Julius Caesar, Tiberius, Caligula, Guiderius, 
Hamo, Claudius, Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Londricus, 
Severus, Fulgentius, Geta, Caracalla, making forty lives in all, 
and bringing his part of the work down to A.D. 209. To the 
last part he added Sir Nicholas Burdet (1441), written by him- 
self; two poems, "pende above fifty yeares agone," by Francis 
Dingley of Munston--The Lamentation of James IV and 
Floddcn Field--and Cardinal Wolsey, by Churchyard. 
.Meanwhile, Thomas Blenerhasset had set to work to fill 
the gap left by Higgins after .c. 51, and published in 1578 
the following tragedies, extending from A.I. 44 tO o66: Guid- 
ericus, Carassus, Helena, Vortiger, Uther Pendragon, Cadwalla- 
der, Sigebert, Lady Ebbe, Alurede, Egelrede, Edric, Harold. 
These were issued by a different printer (Richard Webster) and, 
therefore, were not included by Marsh in his edition of 1587, 
Higgins covering part of the same ground, and having promised 
in his address "To the Reader," in 574, to come down to 
the same point--the Conquest--that Blenerhasset actually 
The next editor, Niccols (16o) adopted the plan suggested 
by Sackville, and omitted the prose links. For the first part, 
he took Higgins's Inductioz; for the second, Sackville's; 
and, for the third, one of his own composition. The first part 
included the forty tragedies by Higgins and ten of Blenerhas- 
set'somitting Guidericus (supplied, since Blenerhasset wrote, 
by Higgins) and Alurede (supplied by Niccols himself); for 
the latter reason, he omits Richard III in part II and he also 
leaves out James I, James IV and the Battle of Flodden, 
apparently out of consideration for the Scots; part XlI contains 
ten tragedies of his own--Arthur, Edmund Ironside, Alfred, 
Godwin, Robert Curthose, Richard I, John, Edward II, 
Edward V, Richard III. England's Eliza, also his own, 


the prevailing opinion of his contemporaries that, if he had not 
been called to the duties of statesmanship, he would have 
achieved great things in poetry. Spenser gave expression to 
this view with his usual courtly grace and in his own "golden 
verse" in the sonnet addressed to Sackville in i59o, commend- 
ing The Faerie Queene to his protection: 

In vain I thinke, right honourable Lord, 
By this rude rime to memorize thy name, 
Whose learned Muse hath writ her owne record 
In golden verse, worthy immortal fame: 
Thou much more fit (were leasure to the same) 
Thy gracious Soverains praises to compile, 
And her imperiall Majestie to frame 
In loftie numbers and heroicke stile. 

Some of Spenser's praise might be set down to the desire 
to conciliate an influential patron, for lord Buckhurst had 
just been installed at Windsor as a knight companion of the 
order of the Garter; and, in the following year, by the direct 
interposition of the queen, he was elected chancellor of the 
university of Oxford. But, when all temptation to flattery 
had long passed away, Pope chose him out for special com- 
mendation among the writers of his age as distinguished by 
"a propriety in sentiments, a dignity in the sentences, an un- 
affected perspicuity of style, and an easy flow of numbers; in 
a word, that chastity, correctness, and gravity of style xvhich 
are so essential to tragedy; and xvhich all the tragic poets 
who followed, not excepting Shakespeare himself, either little 
understood or perpetually neglected." 
Only the small extent of Sackville's poetical work has pre- 
vented him from inclusion among the masters of the grand 
style. This distinction is the more remarkable because the 
occasion of which he took advantage, and the material he used, 
were not particularly favourable. He evidently felt that the 
vast design of Baldwin and his fellows was inadequately intro- 
duced by the bald and almost childish prose preface, with its 
frank acceptance to medieval machinery, which had seemed 
sufficient to them. He turned to the great examples of anti- 
quity, Vergil and Dante; indeed, apparently, he had intended 
to produce a Paradiso as well as an Inferno. Sorrow says: 
VOL. 111--15 

-26 "A Mirror for Magistrates" 

I shall thee guide first to the grisly lake, 
And thence unto the blissful place to rest, 
Where thou shalt see, and hear, the plaint they make 
That whilom here bare swing among the best: 
This shalt thou see : but great is the unrest 
That thou must bide, before thou canst attain 
Unto the dreadful place where these remain. 

The astonishing thing is that Sackville is not overwhelmed 
by the models he has adopted. His command of his material 
is free and masterful, although he has to vivify such shadou3r 
medieval abstractions as Remorse of Conscience, Dread, Re- 
venge, Misery, Care, Sleep, Old Age, Malady, Famine, Death 
and War. It is not merely that his choice of phrase is adequate 
and his verse easy and varied. He conceives greatly, and 
handles his great conceptions with a sureness of touch which 
belongs only to the few. He was undoubtedly indebted to 
Chaucer and Gavin Douglas, and, in his turn, he influenced 
Spenser; but his verse bears the stamp of his own individuality. 
The Induction has not Spenser's sensuous melody; and it is far 
removed from Chaucer's ingenuous subtlety and wayward 
charm; but it has an impassioned dignity and grave majesty 
which are all its own. 

His Life 2 2 9 

represented the county of Bedford in parliament I557-9. 
His youthful extravagances led to debt, disgrace and disin- 
heritance by his father, Sir John Gascoigne. 
"In myddest of his youth" he tells us (I, 62) he "determined to 
abandone all vaine delightes and to returne unto Greyes Inne, there 
to undertake againe the studdie of the common Lawes. And being 
required by five sundry Gentlemen to write in verse somewhat 
worthye to bee remembred, before he entered into their fellow- 
shippe, hee compiled these five sundrie sortes of metre uppon five 
sundrye theames, whiche they delivered unto him." 
Gascoigne's ingenuous use of the word "compiled" disarms 
criticism, but it makes the whole incident only the more signifi- 
cant of the attitude of himself and his companions tmvards 
his verse. It was occasional and perfunctory, the work neither 
of an inspired artist on the one hand, norof a professional crafts- 
man on the other. However, Gascoigne not only vrote the 
versified exercises demanded of him: he paid the fines for his 
neglected terms, was called "ancient" in 1565, and translated 
Supposes and (together with Francis Kinwelmersh) .]ocasta, 
which were presented at Gray's Inn in 1566. He took a further 
step towards reform by marlTing a rich widow, whose children 
by her first marriage brought a suit in 1568 for the protection 
of their interests. The action seems to have been amicably 
settled, and he remained on good terms vith his stepson, 
Nicholas Breton, who was himself a poet of some note. But 
it is to be feared that, as "a man of middle age," Gascoigne 
returned to the evil courses of his youth, if we are to accept 
the evidence of his autobiographical poem Dan Bartholme'w 
o Bathe. The last stanza but three (I, i36 ) makes the per- 
sonal character of the poem obvious, and this is probably one 
of the "slaunderous Pasquelles against divers persormes of 
greate callinge" laid to his charge in the following petition 
which, in May, 1572, prevented him from taking his seat in 
parliament : 
Firste, he is indebted to a great nomber of personnes for the 
which cause he hath absented him selfe from the Citie and hath 
lurked at Villages neere unto the same Citie by a longe time, and 
nowe beinge returned for a Burgesse of Midehurste in the Countie 
of Sussex doethe shewe his face openlie in the despite of all his 

The "Posies" 

presented out of sundry gardens" (I, 499)- But, when the 
second edition appears in x575 under the poet's own name, 
A. B., G. T., H. W. and F. J. all dissolve into Gascoigne 
himself. The "divers discourses and verses . by sundrie 
gentlemen" all now appear as the "Posies of George Gascoigne," 
G. T.'s comment on the verses of Master F. J. is printed as 
from Gascoigne's own hand, Gascoigne admits that the original 
publication was by his consent and a close examination of the 
two editions leads to the conclusion that the first vas prepared 
for the press and written from beginning to end by Gascoigne 
himself, printer's preface and all. The following sentence in 
"The Printer to the Reader" (I, 476) 

And as the venemous spider wil sucke poison out of the most 
holesome herbe, and the industrious Bee can gather hony out of 
the most stinking weede 

is characteristic of Gascoigne's early euphuistic style, of which 
we have several examples inserted by him in his translation 
of Ariosto's Suppositi (I, x97)- And when Gascoigne comes 
to write in his own name an epistle "To the reverende Divines" 
for the second edition, from which the printer's address to the 
reader is omitted, he repeats this very simile (I, 6) : 

I had alledged of late by a right reverende father, that although 
indeede out of everie floure the industrious Bee may gather honie, 
yet by proofe the Spider thereout also sucks mischeevous poyson. 

He also adopts with the slightest possible emendations the 
introductory prefaces to the various poems for which G. T. 
took the responsibility in the edition of  573- All this is ver3" 
characteristic of the time and of the man. His eagerness for 
publication belongs to the age to come, his anxiety first to 
disown it and then to excuse it is of his own and an earlier 
Even in I575, Gascoigne is still more anxious to preserve 
what a modern athlete would call his "amateur standing." 
He protests that he "never receyved of the Printer, or of 
anye other, one grote or pennie for the first Copyes of these 
Posyes" (I, 4) and he describes himself, not as an author, but 
as "George Gascoigne Esquire professing armes in the defence 
of Gods truth." In commemoration of his exploits in the 

238 Geort  e Gascoit  ne 

favourite) a greater ease and smoothness than had been 
attained by Wyatt and Surrey. The following sormet is a 
good example of his characteristic virtues: 

That selfe same tonge which first did thee entreat 
To linke thy liking with my lucky love: 
That trustie tonge must howe these wordes repeate, 
I love thee still, my fancie cannot move. 
That dreadlesse hart which durst attempt the thought 
To win thy will with mine for to consent, 
Maintaines that vow which love in me first wrought, 
I love thee still, and never shall repent. 
That happie hande which hardely did touch, 
Thy tender body to my deepe delight: 
Shall serve with sword to prove my passion such 
As loves thee still, much more than it can write. 
Thus love I still with tongue, hand, hart and all, 
_And when I chaunge, let vengeance on me fall. 1 

Next to his love poetry, his verses in compliment to the 
queen are perhaps most worthy of attention, especially those 
which he wrote for "the princely pleasures at Kenelworth 
Castle." He directed his muse, with amazing ingenuousness, 
to the goal of professional advancement, and this combined 
with other reasons to prevent any lofty flight or permanent 
achievement; but, as the first of the Elizabethan court poets, 
he is notable as the precursor of an important movement. 

' Cambridge edition, vol. , p. 9 . 

240 The Poetry of Spenser 

courtiers called into existence by the crown, and, though the 
continuity of Catholic tradition was still preserved, the sov- 
ereign, as head of the church, exerted almost absolute power in 
the regulation of public worship. The conscience of the nation 
wavered in this struggle between old ecclesiastico-feudal forms 
and the infant ideas of civil life; and confusion was itself con- 
founded by the influence of art and letters imported from 
the more advanced, but corrupt, culture of modern Italy. To 
the difficulty of forming a reasonable view of life out of these 
chaotic conditions was added the problem of expressing it in 
a language as yet hardly mature enough to be the vehicle 
of philosophical thought. Wyatt and Surrey had, indeed, 
accomplished a remarkable feat in adapting to Italian models 
the metrical inheritance transmitted to them by Chaucer; 
but a loftier and larger imagination than theirs was required 
to create poetic forms for national aspirations which had so 
little in common as those of England with the spirit of Italy 
in the sixteenth century. 
The poet whose name is rightly taken as representative of 
the general movement of literature in the first half of Eliza- 
beth's reign was well fitted by nature to reflect the character 
of this spiritual conflict. A modest and sympathetic dis- 
position, an intelligence philosophic and acute, learned industry, 
a brilliant fancy, an exquisite ear, enabled Spenser's genius to 
respond like a musical instrument to each of the separate in- 
fluences by which it was stirred. His mind was rather recep- 
tive than creative. All the great movements of the time are 
mirrored in his work. In it is to be found a reverence for 
Catholic tradition modified by the moral earnestness of the 
reforming protestant. His imagination is full of feudal ideas, 
warmed into life by his association with men of action like 
Sidney, Grey, Ralegh and Essex, but coloured by a contrary 
stream of thought derived from the philosophers of the Italia.a 
renascence. Theological conceptions, originating with the 
Christian Fathers, lie side by side in his poetry with images 
drawn from pagan mythology, and with incidents of magic 
copied from the medieval chroniclers. These imaginative 
materials are, with him, not fused and assimilated in a form of 
direct poetic action as is the case in the poetry of Chaucer, Shake- 
speare and Milton; but, rather, are given an appearance of unity 

Spenser's Family. Gabriel Harvey 

by an allegory, proceeding from the mind of the poet himself, 
in a mould of metrical language which combines native words, 
fallen out of common use, with a syntax imitated from the 
great authors of Greece and Rome. _An attempt will be made 
in the following pages to trace the correspondence in the work 
of Spenser between this conflict of external elements and his 
own poetic genius, reflecting the spirit of his age. 
In respect of what vas contributed to the art of Spenser by 
his personal life and character, it is often difficult to penetrate 
to the reality of things beneath the veil of allegory with which 
he chooses to conceal his thoughts. We know that he was 
born in London in (probably) i552, the son of a clothier whose 
descent was derived from the same stock as the Spencers of 
Althorp. To this connection the poet alludes in his pastoral 
poem Colin Clout "s Come Home Again, when, praising the 
three daughters of Sir John Spencer, he speaks of 

The honor of the noble familie: 
Of which I meanest boast my selfe to be. 

We know, also, that he was one of the first scholars of the 
recently founded Merchant Taylors' school, from which he 
passed as a sizar to Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, on 2o May, 1569. 
Furthermore, it is evident, from the sonnets contributed, in 
 569, to A Theatre for Worldlings,  that he must have begun 
early to write poetry. 
At Cambridge, he came under three influences, each of 
which powerfully affected his opinions and imagination. The 
first was his friendship with Gabriel Harvey. This man, the 
son of a rope-maker at Saffron Walden, was a person of con- 
siderable intellectual force, but intolerably arrogant and con- 
ceited, and with a taste vitiated by all the affectations of the 
decadent Italian humanism. He entered Pembroke Hall as 
Fellow the year after Spenser matriculated, and soon secured 
a strong hold over the modest and diffident mind of the young 
undergraduate. His tone in the published correspondence 
with Spenser is that of an intellectual bully; and so much did 
the poet defer to the elder man's judgment, that, at one time, 
he not only attempted to follow Harvey's foolish experi- 

See post, Chap xt. 
VOL. III--i6 

242 The Poetry of Spenser 

ment of anglicising the hexameter, but was in danger of being 
discouraged by him from proceeding with The Faerie Queene. 
Again, Spenser was strongly influenced by the religious 
atmosphere of his college. Cambridge protestantism was, 
at this time, sharply divided by the dispute between the strict 
disciplinarians in the matter of church ritual, headed by 
Whitgift, master of Trinity, aftera, ards archbishop of Canter- 
bury, and those followers of Cartvright, Lady Margaret pro- 
fessor of Divinity, from whom, in course of time, came forth 
the Martin Marprelate faction. Pembroke Hall seems to 
have occupied a middle position in this conflict. Its traditions 
were emphatically Calvinistic. Ridley, bishop of London, one 
of the most conspicuous of the Marian martyrs, had been 
master of the college; he was succeeded by his pupil Grindal, 
afterwards archbishop of Canterbury; and the headship, when 
Spenser matriculated, had passed to Young, at a later date 
bishop of Rochester, whose Calvinism was no less marked than 
that of his predecessors. Spenser, moved by the esprit de corps 
of his college, eulogised both his old master and Grindal, when 
their mild treatment of the nonconformists brought them 
into discredit with the queen. It may, perhaps, be inferred 
from a letter of Gabriel Harvey to Spenser, that the college 
did not side with Cartwright in opposing the prescribed ritual; 
but many allusions in The Shepheards Calender show that Spen- 
ser himself disapproved of the relics of the Roman system 
that disguised themselves under the garb of conformity. 
But, however staunchly he held to the principles of the 
reformed faith, his protestantism was modified and softened 
bv another powerful movement of the time, namely, the study 
of Platonic philosophy. The revival of Platonism which 
began with the renascence was, of course, the natural antithesis 
to the system of Aristotelian logic, as caricatured by the late 
schoolmen; but it was also distinct from the Christianised 
Neo-Platonism which culminated in the ninth century, when 
Joannes Scotus (Erigena) popularised the doctrines of the 
so-called Dionysius the Areopagite, embodied in his book 
The Celestial Hierarchy. Modern Platonism implied an in- 
terpretation of the Scriptures in the light of Plato's philosophy 
studied, generally, at the fountain head, and particularly 
in the dialogues of The Republic, Timaeus and the Symposium. 

The Poetry of Spenser 

among the earliest of his surviving works. They show no 
novelty of invention, being, from first to last, merely the versi- 
fication of ideas taken from Plato's Symposium, read in the 
light of Ficino's commentary. The poet, however, by shox ing 
how truly he himself comprehended the philosophy of Love 
and felt his power, conveyed an ingenious compliment to his 

Love, that long since hast to thy mighty powre 
Perforce subdude my poor captived hart, 
And. raging now therein with restlesse stowre, 
Doest tyrannize in everie weaker part; 
Faine would I seeke to ease my bitter smart 
By any service I might do to thee, 
Or ought that else might to thee pleasing bee. 

Love, he thinks, would doubtless be best pleased with an 
exposition of the doctrines of true love: hence his elaborate 
analysis of the passion, in which he follows, step by step, the 
Symposium of Plato, or, rather, Ficino's commentary on that 
dialogue. Ficino himself had not sought originality any more 
than Spenser. Like all the men of the early renascence, he 
submitted his own opinions to those of the authors of antiquity 
as if these were inspired. Whatever was written in the 
Symposium he accepted as revealed truth; and, since the views 
of Plato's imaginary speakers were often at variance with each 
other, he took pains to reconcile them. He had studied Plato 
in the light of ideas propagated through the teaching of the 
Neo-Platonists, who had absorbed into their philosophy 
many elements of oriental magic: accordingly, the process 
of reconciliation ended in a new development of Plato's original 
theory by Ficino, whom Spenser followed, with as little desire 
to question his authority as the Italian philosopher had 
shown in his interpretation of the Greek text. In the Sym- 
posium, for example, where the whole texture of the dialogue 
is humorous and dramatic, Phaedrus, whose theory is, of 
course, quite opposed to that of Socrates, speaks of Love as 
the eldest of the gods, and is contradicted by Agathon, who 
calls Love the youngest god. Ficino tries to harmonise these 
two ideas by introducing into the theory a Christian element 
derived from the Neo-Platonism of the pseudo-Dionysius. 

"The Shepheards Calender" -'47 

specimens of his workmanship in The Faerie Queene. The 
pastoral, however, as a style more easy of execution for a poet 
wanting in experience, attracted him first, as may be inferred 
from the quaintly conceited account of his motives prefixed 
by his commentator E. K. to The Shepheards Calender: 
And also appeareth by the basenesse of the name, wherein it 
semeth he chose rather to unfold great matter of argument covertly 
then, professing it, not suffice thereto accordingly. Which moved 
him rather in zEglogues then other wise to write, doubting perhaps 
his habilitie, vhich he little needed, or mynding to furnish our 
tongue with this kinde, wherein it faulteth; or following the ex- 
ample of the best and most auncient Poetes, which devised this 
kind of wryting, being both so base for the matter, and homely 
for the manner, at the first to trye theyr habilities; and as young 
birdes, that be newly crept out of the nest, by little first to prove 
theyr tender wyngs, before they make a greater flyght. 
Whatever were the precise reasons that determined 
Spenser to make his first poetical venture in the region of 
pastoral poetry, there can be no doubt that he must have per- 
ceived the opportunities afforded to invention by the practice 
of his literarT predecessors. In the first place, the eclogue 
gave great scope for allegory. Even in Theocritus, the poet 
is presented under the guise of a shepherd, and in 3Ioschus's 
lament for Bion this dress takes a distinctly personal character. 
From such a beginning it was but a step for Vergil to make the 
shepherd a mouthpiece for compliments addressed to statesmen 
in the city; and, vith equal readiness, the eclogue, in the Middle 
Ages, passed from civil into ecclesiastical allegory for the pur- 
poses of flatter3" or satire. A certain convenient obscurity thus 
began to cover all pastoral utterances, so that, to quote the 
words of Petrarch, "it is the nature of this class of literature 
that, if the author does not provide a commentary, its meaning 
may, perhaps, be guessed, but can never be fully understood." 
The eclogue, again, recommended itself to Spenser on 
account of the great variety of matter that had come to be 
treated in it. In its most elementary conditions, it was used 
to represent either a contest in singing between two shepherds, 
a lover's complaint, or a dirge for some dead acquaintance. 
Transported into the region of allegory, the singing dialogue 
might be turned into a channel for discoursing on the con- 

"The Shepheards Calender" -"49 

criticism of the Italian academies: the remark itself touches 
merely the superficial question of style, and does not attempt 
to penetrate the deeper question how far the traditional form 
of the pastoral can be taken as a proper vehicle for modern 
thought and feeling. For the age of Elizabeth it bore imme- 
diate fruit. On the one hand, Sidney's praise gave a vogue to 
the pastoral style; on the other, his censure of rusticity in lan- 
guage warned those who attempted the pastoral manner off 
Spenser's example. Drayton, in his Eclogues, while preserving 
the clownish nomenclature of The Shepheards Calender, takes 
care to make his speakers discourse in the language of polished 
The Shepheards Calender was introduced to the notice of 
the public by a commentator signing himself E. K., who is 
conjectured, with every probability, to have been Spenser's 
fellow-collegian and contemporary, Edward Kirke. E.K.'s 
preface, addressed to Gabriel Harvey, and written in the con- 
totted style approved by him, was divided into two portions, 
one being a defence of Spenser's practice in respect of diction, 
the other a description of his design. Of the latter, E. K. 
Now, as touching the generall dr3dt and purpose of his Eglogues 
I mind not to say much, him selfe labouring to conceale it. Onely 
this appeareth, that his unstayed yougth had long wandred in the 
common Labyrinth of Love, in which time to mitigate and allay 
the heate of his passion, or els to warne (as he sayth) the young 
shepheards, his equalls and companions, of his unfortunate folly, 
he compiled these XlI Eglogues, which, for that they be propor- 
tioned to the state of the xiI monethes, he termeth the Shepheards 
Calendar, applying an olde name to a new worke. 
Had the design of The Shepheards Calender been so simple 
as E. K. suggests, the work would have had unity, but little 
variety. Spenser would have confined himself to a rendering 
of the traditional idea of pastoral love adapted to the 
changes of the different seasons; but, as a matter of fact, the 
unity of the design lies solely in an allegorical calendar, treated 
ethically, in agreement with the physical characteristics of the 
different months. The idea of love is presented prominently 
only in four of the eclogues, viz. those for January, March, June 
and December: of the rest, four, those for February, May, 

The Poetry of Spenser 

July and September, deal with matters relating to morality 
or religion; two are complimentary or elegiac, those for April 
and November; one, that for August, describes a singing match 
pure and simple; and one, that for October, is devoted to a la- 
ment for the neglect of poetry. Hence, it appears that Spenser, 
without making much account of the singleness of purpose 
ascribed to him by his commentator, contrives to include 
within the plan of the pastoral calendar a large number of those 
traditional motives which had been employed by his predeces- 
sors in this class of poetry. And, from this fact, we may safely 
make two inferences, which apply to all Spenser's allegories, 
philosophical, pastoral, or romantic. In the first place, it is 
misleading to gather the sense of the allegory from the ap- 
parent nature of his theme. His mind did not energise within its 
professed subject, like that of Bunyan in The Pilgrim's Pro- 
gress, where the plan, action and characters of the story are 
plainly evolved directly from the inherent spiritual thought. 
In the second place, the true significance of Spenser's allegorical 
matter can only be discovered by tracking the sources of his 
allegorical forms. His motives are artistic rather than ethical, 
and he is concerned less with matter of thought than manner 
of expression. This is the case even with those classes of his 
compositions in which his motive appears to be primarily 
philosophical. If, for example, the Platonism in his Hymnes 
be compared with that of Wordsworth in the Ode on the 
Intimations of Immortalily, a striking difference of conception 
is at once observable. Wordsworth's poetical inspiration 
comes immediately from within: the speculations of Plato, 
no doubt, set his imagination to work, but his imaginative 
reasoning is his own; whereas, in the Hymnes, as has been 
already shown, Spenser merely expounds, without alteration, 
the theory" of beauty which he has derived from the commentary 
of Ficino on Plato's Symposium; his sole original contribution 
to the poetw is the beautiful and harmonious form of English 
verse which he makes the vehicle of the thought. 
If we look away from the authorised account of Spenser's 
design in The Shepheards Calender to the actual gestation of 
the poem in his imagination, it is plain that, before constructing 
his general idea, he had carefully studied the pastoral practice of 
Theocritus, Bion, Vergil, Mantuan and Marot. His sympathetic 

Allegory in "The Shepheards Calender" 


intelligence had been impressed by many imaginative passages 
in these authors, and he desired to reproduce them in a novel 
form. For this purpose, he chose, as the basis of his entire 
work, an allegory." founded on the widely popular Kalemtrier 
des Bergers--an almanac describing the tasks of shepherds 
in the different months of the year--and resolved to include 
within his poetical edifice the various subjects hitherto handled 
in the eclogue. In dealing with the subject of love, he naturally 
took as his models the Greek and Latin idyllists, who had 
preceded him with many complaints of shepherds unfortunate 
in their wooing. But the direct expression of passion by 
these pagan poets had to be harmonised with the sub-tone 
of Platonism imported into amorous verse by the troubadours 
and Petrarch. Colin Clout, the love-lorn sheph'erd, whose 
lamentations run, more or less, through all seasons of the year, 
has been treated by Rosalind, "the widowe's daughter of the 
glenne," with the "cruelty" prescribed to ladies in the con- 
ventional rules of the courts of love and utters his despair, in 
the winter months of JanuarT and December. His feelings 
are much more complex than those ascribed for example, by 
Theocritus to the lover of Amar3-11is, and, in the following 
stanza, it is plain that the pastoral sentiment has been trans- 
from the fields to the artificial atmosphere of court 

A thousand sithes I curse that carefull hower 
Wherein I longd the neighbour towne to see, 
_And eke tenne thousand sithes I blesse the stoure 
Wherein I sawe so fayre a sight as shee: 
Yet all for naught: such sight hath bred my bane. 
Ah, God ! that love should breede both joy and payne ! 
Again, in the complaint of Colin in December, the essential 
motive is distinctly literary: it lies much less in the.lover's pain 
than in the recollections of his untroubled youth, that is to 
say, in a passage of this character in Marot's Eglogue au Roy, 
which Spenser has very closely imitated. So, also, in the 
March eclogue, where the dialogue is carried on between two 
shepherds called Thomalin and Y'illie, the real motive is to 
imitate Bion's second idyll--containing a purely pagan concep- 
tion of love---in the rustic style specially devised by Spenser 
for his speakers. The result is not very happy. Bion's idyll 

The Poetry of Spenser 

is, really, an epigram. It describes how a boy fowler spied 
Love sitting like a bird on a tree, and how he vainly endeav- 
oured to ensnare him with all the as he had lately learned. 
The boy relates his want of success to an old bird-catcher who 
had taught him, and is bidden to give over the chase, since, when 
he attains to man's estate, instead of trying to catch Love, 
he will regret being caught by him. Spenser's imitation of 
this is comparatively clumsy. He represents two young 
shepherds talking together in a manner befitting the spring 
season. Thomalin tells his friend how he recently startled 
from the bushes a "naked swayne" (so Moschus describes 
Love) and how he shot at him with his arrows till he had 
emptied his quiver, when he ran away in a fright, and the 
creature shot at him, and hit him in the heel. Willie ex- 
plains to his friend that the swain was Love, a fact with which 
he is acquainted because his father had once caught him in 
a fowling net, fortunately without his bow and arrows. The 
eclogue concludes, as usual, with "emblems" chosen by the 
two speakers. The epigrammatic terseness of Bion, whose 
idyll is contained in sixteen lines, is lost in Spenser's diffuse 
description, which runs to one hundred and seventeen. 
In the eclogues of a religious turn, the primary inspiration 
is seen to be no less traditional and literary. Here, the main 
suggestion is, generally, furnished by Mantuan. Mantuan, 
in his eighth eclogue, introduces two shepherds, Candidus and 
Alphus, discussing the respective advantages of life in the 
mountains and on the plains. The treatment is simple enough. 
Candidus, who represents the former, praises the mountains, 
chiefly on account of the monasteries built in them. He also 
mentions the earthly paradise and the fall of man, at once 
with the naivet characteristic of a rustic mind and with the 
pagan imagery proper to Latin verse: 

Esse locum menwrant, ubi surgit ab aequore Titan, 
Qui, nisi dedidici, contingit vertice Lunmn, 
Et vixisse illic hominem, sed postea abactum 
Improbitate gulae, qu.od scilicet omnia poma 
Mamteret, et magro servasset nulla Tmtanti. 

Spenser, in his eclogue for July, imitates this passage in imagery 
scarcely less formally pagan: 

Spenser's Literary Obligations 


Besyde, as holy fathers sayne, 
There is a hyllye place, 
Where Titan ryseth from the mayne 
To renne hys dayly race, 
Upon whose toppe the starres bene stayed, 
And all the skie doth leane; 
There is the cave where Phoebe layed 
The shepheard long to dreame. 
Whilorne there used shepheards all 
To feede theyr flocks at will, 
Till by his foly one did fall, 
That all the rest did spill. 

Mantuan contents himself with clothing theological allusions 
in classical imagery; his mountains and plains are really 
mountains and plains; Spenser, in his eclogue, extends his 
allegory to all the images suggested to him by 3Iantuan: his 
mountains become types of ecclesiatical pride and luxury, 
his plains, of the humility required by true religion. 
In the eclogue for September, he follows more closely 
3Iantuan's steps in the pastoral called Rdigio. 3Iantuan 
himself had built his poem allegorically on Vergil's first eclogue, 
in which Tityrus describes to his friend 3Ieliboeus--a shepherd 
driven from his farmbthe glories of the city of Rome, whither 
he had gone, when his lands were lost to him by his ruinous 
love for Galatea, and had had them restored by the bounty 
of a divine youth, who now enabled him to live with comfort 
in the country. The medieval poet, satirically inverting the 
idea, represents Candidus, a shepherd from the north of Italy, 
arriving in the neighbourhood of Rome, where he hopes to 
find rich pasture for his flock. Bitterly disappointed with 
the climate of that barren place, he bewails his lot to his friend 
Faustulus, who explains to him all the evils that arise from the 
character of the shepherds of the neighbourhood and the dogs 
that devour the sheep. Here, the sense is, of course, allegorical 
Spenser takes up Mantuan's idea, with certain modifications, 
making Diggon Davie, his chief speaker, return to his native 
district, after wandering abroad with his flock, and relate to 
Hobbinol his sad experiences. The satire, which reflects on the 
worldliness of the Anglican clergy, is more particular than that 
of 3Iantuan, and contains many personal allusions. 

254 The Poetry of Spenser 

Two eclogues, those for April and November, are devoted, 
respectively, to courtly compliment and courtly elegy. Here, 
Spenser found his models both in Vergil and llarot. The 
first eclogue of Vergil is intended to convey a compliment to 
Octavianus: his last is an imaginary elegy in honour of his 
friend Gallus. lIarot, in his Eglogue au Roy, under cover of 
pastoral imagery, returns thanks to his sovereign, Francis I, 
for the relief given him in his old age; while, in his Elegie sur 
Mine. Loise de Savoye, he adapts the traditional manner to 
courtly purposes, on the principle applied by Vergil in his 
tenth eclogue. Spenser, following closely in the track of llarot, 
nevertheless diverges, as usual, slightly from his model, 
partly for the sake of being original, partly to preserve the air of 
greater rusticity affected in his own eclogues. In April, the 
praises of Elizabeth are recited by Hobbinol from a lay made 
by Colin, who has left his daily work for love of Rosalind: in 
November, Dido, "the great shepherd's daughter," is lamented 
by Colin himself, in lyrical strophes which replace the uniform 
stanza employed by lIarot throughout his elegy on Loise de 
Finally, Spenser uses the eclogue for the allegorical purpose 
of discoursing on the contemporary state of poetry. Here, 
again,a lead had been given him by Mantuan in his fifth eclogue, 
De Consueludine Divitum erga Poctas; but Mantuan himself had 
an original in the sixteenth idyll of Theocritus, in which the poet 
addressing Hiero, tyrant of Syracuse, complains of the meagre 
patronage extended to the poets of the time, and claims 
generous assistance. Spenser, in his October eclogue, adheres 
closely to the framework of Mantuan's poem. Like Candidus, 
in that composition, Cuddie, the poet, appealed to by his 
companion Piers, maintains that his 

poore Muse hath spent her spared store, 
Yet little good hath got, and much lesse gayne; 

like Sylvanus, Piers exhorts his friend to sing to the country 
folk, for glory, if not for gain; and, if he will not do this, to try 
his fortune at court. But, when Cuddie still resists his friend's 
appeal, Piers, who is of a more exalted spirit than Sylvanus, 

Spenser's Pastoral Style 255 

Then make thee winges of thine aspyring wit, 
And, whence thou camst, rye backe to heaven apace. 
Cuddie, however, is dejected by unsuccessful love, and, though 
Piers maintains that love (in Plato's sense) should lift him 
"above the starry skie," Cuddie persists in declaring that 
All otherwise the state of Poet stands; 
For lordly love is such a Tyranne fell, 
That where he rules all power he doth expell ; 
The vaunted verse a vacant head demaundes. 
If he is to sing of lofty themes, his imagination must be heated 
to them by the material goods of life: 
For Bacchus fruite is frend to Phoebus wise; 
And, when the Wine the braine begins to sweate, 
The nombers rowe as fast as spring doth ryse. 

The characteristics of Spenser's pastoral style, then, make it 
plain that, if we would estimate aright the value of his allegor3-, 
we must consider the form of his eclogues apart from their 
matter. As regards the latter, the eclectic treatment which he 
bestowed upon his material is a sign--as eclecticism is in all 
the arts--of exhaustion in the natural sources of inspiration. 
Spenser may be regarded as, in one sense, the last master in a 
cosmopolitan style of poetical composition, and, in another, 
as the pioneer of a new departure in the art of English poetry. 
The atmosphere of The Shepheards Calender is thoroughly 
artificial. /ks treated by its inventor, Theocritus, the essence 
of the idyll was truth to nature. His beautiful and lucid 
rendering of the pains and pleasures of shepherd life, the 
musical simplicity of the verse, in which he calls up images 
of whispering pine-trees, falling waters, climbing flocks and 
flowering hills, are as charming to the English mind to-day 
as they were to his Greek audience more than two thousand 
years ago. But, when Spenser took up the eclogue, it was as 
heir to a long line of ancestors, each of whom had added to it 
some imaginative element disguising the simplicity of the 
fundamental style; pastoral poetry, in fact, had now reached 
a stage where allegory was believed to be essential to it, and 
when Petrarch could say of it that, "if the author does not 
provide a commentary, its meaning may, perhaps, be guessed, 

256 The Poetry of Spenser 

but can never be fully understood." Every one can fully 
understand the naive and passionate despair of Theocritus's 
goatherd after his vain appeal to Amarb'llis in the third idyll; 
but there is little appearance of genuine emotion in the alle- 
gorical grief of Colin Clout, timed to suit the wintry season. 
Nature, again, speaks in each line of the idyll called The 
Adoniazusae, where Gorgo and Praxinoe chatter to each otl'.er 
precisely after the fashion of Englishwomen going to look on at 
a public spectacle. But, in Spenser's eclogues for May, July and 
September, we have to accustom ourselves to an exotic atmos- 
phere before we realise the propriety of transferring the pastoral 
image from the rural to the ecclesiastical flock; nor can we at 
all reconcile the theological refinements in the discourse of 
Piers and Palinode to the actual simplicity of the bucolic mind. 
Whatever authority Spenser could have cited from Vergil and 
Marot for the compliment he paid to Elizabeth, as "queene 
of shepheardes all," it is surely an anomaly in nature to 
associate the pastoral image with one that inevitably calls up 
a vision of "ruffs, and cuffs, and farthingales, and things." 
If, however, Spenser's practice in bucolic poetr3  be viewed 
mainly on the technical side, The Shepheards Calender appears 
as a most important monument in the history of English 
poetry. Every reader must admire the skill displayed by the 
poet in providing a suitable form for the great variety of his 
matter. His selection of the Kalendrier des Bergers, as the 
foundation of his allegory, is an excellent piece of invention, 
and the judgment with which he distributes his materials over 
the various seasons, the consistency with which he preser-es 
the characters of his shepherds, the propriety of the rural 
images employed for the ornament of discourse, all show the 
hand of a great poetical artist. His achievements in the sphere 
of verbal harmony are the more admirable when the immature 
state of the language before the publication of this poem is 
taken into account. E. K. devotes the larger part of his 
prolegomena to defending the mode of diction afterwards 
blamed by Sir Philip Sidney: 
And firste of the worries to speake, I graunt they be something 
hard, and of most men unused, yet both English, and also used of 
most excellent Authors, and most famous Poetes. In whom, 
wheneas this our Poet hath bene much traveiled and thoroughly 

Vocabulary of "Shepheards Calender" 257 

redd, how could it be, (as that worthy Oratour sayde) but that 
walking in the sonne, although for other cause he walked, yet 
needes he mought be sunburnt; and, having the sound of those 
auncient Poetes still ringing in his eares, he mought needes, in 
singing, hit out some of theyr tunes. But whether he useth them 
by such casualtye and custome, or of set purpose and choyse, as 
thinking them fittest for such rusticall rudenesse of shepheards, 
eyther for that theyr rude sounde would make his rymes more 
ragged and rustical, or els because such olde and obsolete wordes 
are most used of country folke, sure I think, and think I think 
not amisse, that they bring great grace, and, as one would say, 
auctoritie to the verse .... For, if my memory faile not, Tullie, 
in that booke wherein he endevoureth to set forth the paterne of 
a perfect Oratour, sayth that ofttimes an auncient worde maketh 
the style seeme grave, and as it were reverend, no otherwise then 
we honour and reverence gray heares, for a certein religious regard, 
which we have of old age. 

Spenser may very well have meant to emulate the neologis- 
ing tendency of the almost contemporary Pliadc; in which 
case, it is interesting to observe the opposite principle on 
which he proceeded; for, while the French reformers aimed 
mainly at coining new words from Latin and Greek, the 
English poet sought, in the first place, to revive old standard 
words which had fallen out of colloquial use. But, on the 
whole, it seems probable that, above all things, he was anxious 
to treat language as entering into his allegory, and to frame 
a mode of diction which should appear to be in keeping with 
his pastoral characters. For this purpose, he, in the first place, 
turned, as E. K. says, to the monuments of ruder antiquity, 
and revived obsolete words from the writings of Chaucer and 
Lydgate. Wyatt and Surrey had also founded themselves 
on Chaucer, but with a different motive, their aim being, rather, 
to make a selection of such old literary words as should seem 
to be not uncongenial to courtly speech; Spenser, on the 
contrary, was deliberately archaic. With his literary archaisms 
he blended many peculiarities of dialect, turning from the 
southern dialect, which had become the basis of literary com- 
position and polite conversation, to the midland or northern 
varieties of the tongue, which were held to be rustic and un- 
courtly. And, besides these two recognised sources of vocab- 
VOL. llI--I 7, 

The Poetry ot Spenser 

ulary, he drew considerably on his own invention, from which 
he often coined a word conformable to the style of his verse, but 
unauthorised by precedent in speech or writing. The result 
of this procedure was, on the one hand, as Ben Jonson says, 
that "Spenser, in affecting the obsolete, writ no language"; 
on the other, that he constructed a style singularly appro- 
priate to the multiform character of his pastoral allegory. 
When he thought that the situation demanded it, he could 
be clownish to the point of doggerel, as in September, where 
two shepherds, Hobbinol and Diggon Davie, discourse about 
religion. But in many other eclogues the rustic dialect is 
thrown aside, and it is evident that the poet means to make 
use of his pastoral subject mainly for the purpose of metrical 
experiment. In this sphere, he displays the genius of a great 
poet-musician. We have only to compare the rhythms of 
The Shepheards Calender with those of A Mirror for Iagistrates 
in general, and even xvith that of Sackville's Induction in 
particular, to see that a metrical writer had arisen who ex- 
celled all his predecessors in his sense of the capacity of 
the English language for harmonious combinations of sound: 
whether he takes an irregular lyrical flight, or employs the 
iambic rhsthm in uniform stanzas, he shows that he can use 
the courtly style of diction to the utmost advantage. Nothing 
can be more beautiful, for example, than the versification of 
the two following stanzas: 
Colin, to heare thy rymes and roundelayes, 
Which thou weft wont on wastfull hylls to singe, 
I more delight then larke in Sommer dayes; 
Whose Echo made the neyghbour groves to ring, 
And taught the byrds, which in the lower spring 
Did shroude in shady leaves from sonny rayes, 
Frame to thy songe their chereful cheriping, 
Or hold theyr peace, for shame of thy swete layes. 
I sawe Calliope wyth Muses moe, 
Soone as thy oaten pype began to sound, 
Theyr yvory Lu3rts and Tamburins forgoe, 
And from the fountaine, where they sat around, 
Renne after hastely thy silver sound; 
But, when they came where thou thy skill didst showe, 
They drewe abacke, as halfe with shame confound 
Shepheard to see them in theyr art outgoe. 

"The Faerie Queene" 259 

No less melodious are the lyrical songs which, in the eclogues 
for .April and November, he turns to the purposes of compli- 
ment or elegy, and which anticipate the still more exquisite 
music of the Prothalamion and Epithalamion, the work of his 
later years. 
In The Faerie Queene, Spenser applies the allegorical method 
of composition on the same principle as in The 'hepheards 
Calender, but, owing to the nature of the theme, with great 
difference in the character of the results. He had taken up 
the idea of allegorising romance almost at the same time that 
he contemplated the pastoral, and had submitted specimens of 
his work on it to the pedantic judgment of Harvey, who thought 
little of the performance in comparison with other poems by 
his friend, vritten, probably, more in accordance with his own 
affected taste. These latter, as Spenser informed Harvey, com- 
prised Dreames, Stemmata Dudleiana, The Dyitg Pelican and 
Nine Comedies in imitation of Ariosto; none of them survive. 
He may have been discouraged by Harvey's want of apprecia- 
tion of The Faerie Queene; but, at any rate, he was soon 
called away to more practical work by accepting, in 1580, the 
position of secretary to lord Grey, who had been appointed 
lord deputy in Ireland. Public duties and the turbulent 
state of the country, doubtless, only allowed him intervals of 
leisure for excursions into the "delightful land of Faerie," 
but ve know that he continued to develop his design--of 
which he had completed the first, and a portion of the second, 
book before leaving Englandfor the work is mentioned by 
his friend Lodowick Bryskett as being in progress in 1583. 
Spenser's name appears as one of the "undertakers" for the 
colonisation of Iunster, in 1586, when he obtained possession 
of Iilcolman castle, the scenery in the neighbourhood of which 
he often mentions in The Faerie Queene. Here, in 1589, he 
was visited by Ralegh and read to him the three books of the 
poem which were all that he had then completed. Ralegh, 
delighted with what he heard, persuaded Spenser to accom- 
pany him to England, no doubt holding out to him prospects 
of preferment at court, whither the txvo friends proceeded 
in the winter of 1589. The first portion of The Faerie Queene 
was published in 159 o. 
In estimating the artistic value of this poem, we ought to 

260 The Poetry of Spenser 

consider not only what the poet himself tells us about the 
design, but the motives actually in his mind, so far as these 
discover themselves in the execution of the work. Allegory, 
no doubt, is its leading feature. The book, says Spenser, is 
"a continued allegory or darke conceit." But he goes on to 
explain the manncr in vhich his main intention is to be carried 

The generall end therefore of all the booke (he says in his letter 
to Ralegh) is to fashion a gentleman or noble person in vertuous 
and gentle discipline: Which for that I conceived shoulde be most 
plausible and pleasing, being coloured with an historicall fiction, 
the which the most part of men delight to read, rather for variety of 
matter then for profite of the ensample, I chose the historye of 
King Arthure, as most fitte for the excellency of his person, being 
made famous by many mens former workes, and also furthest from 
the daunger of envy, and suspition of present time. In which I 
have followed all the antique Poets historicall ; first Homere, who in 
the Persons of Agamemnon and Ulysses hath ensampled a good 
governour and a vertuous man, the one in his Ilias, the other in his 
Odysseis: then Virgil, whose like intention was to doe in the person 
of Aeneas: after him Ariosto comprised them both in his Orlando: 
and lately Tasso dissevered them againe, and formed both parts 
in two persons, namely that part which they in Philosophy call 
Ethice, or vertues of a private man, coloured in his Rinaldo; 
the other named _Politice in his Godfredo. 

A certain ambiguity and confusion is here visible, showing 
that Spenser had not clearly thought out his design according 
to the fundamental principles of his art. It is possible to 
please, as well as teach, by an allegory of action, if the conduct 
of the story be kept as clear and consistent as it is in The 
Pilgrim's Progress. It is possible to teach, as well as please, 
by epic example, because the imagination may be lifted into 
a heroic atmosphere of valour and virtue; but, in order to 
achieve such a result, the poet must charm the reader, as 
Homer does, into a belief in the reality of his narrative. A 
history like that in The Faerie Queene, which, ex hypothesi, 
is allegorical, and, therefore, cannot be real, destroys the possi- 
bility of illusion. Spenser was confronted by a difficulty 
which, in a less formidable shape, had presented itself even to 
Tasso, when devising the structure of Gerusalemme Liberata, 

362 The Poetry of Spenser 

lXlerlin; the courtship of Britomart by Artegall exactly re- 
sembles the love-making between Ruggiero and Brada- 
mante; Britomart's male attire occasions the same mistake 
about her sex to Malecasta, as in the parallel case of Brada- 
mante and Fiordespina; the same relations exist between 
Britomart and Radigund as between Bradamante and Marfisa; 
while the transformation of the witch Duessa is directly copied 
from that of the Fay Alcina. Added to all this, Spenser imi- 
tates the narrative of Ariosto in the constant change of person, 
scene and action. He evidently hoped that while thus "emu- 
lating" Ariosto in "variety of matter" he might "overgo" him 
in "profite of ensample"; nor does his expectation seem un- 
natural, when we remember that Harinon, the first translator 
of Orlando Furioso, was obliged to disguise the want of moral 
purpose in his original by insisting--it can hardly be supposed 
with much sincerity---that all Ariosto's marvellous fictions are 
to be construed allegorically. To Spenser, it seemed possible, 
by blending with the romantic manner of Ariosto the varied re- 
ligious, philosophical and patriotic materials of which he could 
avail himself, to produce a finer poem in the romantic class 
than any that had yet appeared. But he did not reckon with 
all the difficulties in his way. 
Orlauto Furioso embodies the quintessence of "knight erran- 
try. Its virtue lies entirely in its spirit of action. Without 
any well defined subject, like the consequences of the wrath of 
Achilles or the loss of Eden, without any single hero on whose 
fortunes the conduct of the poem turns, Ariosto contrived to 
include in a connected work an infinity of persons, incidents, 
marvels, descriptions and emotions, which sustains without 
weariness the interest of any reader who chooses to surrender 
his imagination entirely to the poet's guidance. In Orlando 
Furioso, there is no progress from point to point towards a well 
discerned end; the character of the poem is proclaimed in the 
two opening lines, 

Le donne, i cavalier, l' arme, gli amori, 
Le cortesie, l' audaci imFresi , io canto, 

which form the prelude to a varied spectacle of human action 
and passion. The sole unity in this ever changing scene lies 
in the imagination of the poet himself, who acts as the inter- 

Allegory in "The Faerie Queene " 

preter of his puppet show, and enlists our interest on behalf 
of his fictitious creatures by the lively sympathy with which he 
accompanies them in every marvellous, humorous, or pathetic 
adventure. Numerous as are his personages, he never loses 
sight of one of them, and will break off, at the climax of a 
thrilling situation, to transport the reader into a different 
quarter of the globe, where, a fexv cantos back, a valorous 
knight or hapless lover has been left in circumstances of seem- 
ingly irremediable misfortune. His effects are produced en- 
tirely by the realistic power of his fancy; and perhaps no poet 
in the world has ever approached, in this respect, so nearly 
as Ariosto to the standard of Horace: 

Ille per extentum fio2em mihi posse videtur 
Ire poeta, meum qui pectus inaniter angit, 
Irritat, mulcet, [alsis terroribus hnplet, 
Ut magus, et modo te Thebis, modo port it A thenis. 

The feat is accomplished simply and solely by the vivid repre- 
sentation of action and character. The images are complete 
in themselves; and to attempt to add anything to them, 
in the shape of reason or moral, would destroy the reality of 
their airy being. .Ariosto, as Aristotle says of Homer, "tells 
lies as he ought"; he cheats the imagination into a belief 
in what would be probable in a really impossible situation. 
While adopting the form of the romantic epic as the basis of 
allegory throughout his entire poem, Spenser seems soon to 
have discovered that he could only travel easily by this path 
for a short distance. In his first two books, indeed, it was 
open to him to represent chivalrous action of an allegorical char- 
acter, which might be readily understood as a probation under- 
gone by the hero, prince Arthur, in the moral virtues of holiness 
and temperance. The first book shows the militant Christian, 
in the person of the Red Cross Knight, travelling in company 
with Una, the lady of his love, personifying wisdom or the 
highest form of beauty, on an enterprise, of which the end 
is to free the kingdom of Una's parents from the ravages 
of a great dragon, the evil one. The various adventures 
in which the actors in the story are involved are well con- 
ceived, as setting forth the different temptations to which 
the Christian character is exposed; and this idea is still more 

Allegory in "The Faerie Queene" 265 

the whole course I mention the deedes of Arthure applyable to that 
vertue, which I write of in that booke. But of the XlI. other 
vertues I make XlI. other knights the patrones, for the more variety 
of the history: Of which these three bookes contayn three. 
The attention of the reader is thus withdrawn from the 
purely ideal figure of the perfect knight, to unriddle, sometimes 
compliments addressed to great persons at court (e.g. queen 
Elizabeth, who, as occasion requires, is Gloriana, or Belphoebe, 
or Britomart; lord Grey, who is Artegall; Sir Walter Ralegh 
who is Timias), and sometimes invectives against the queen's 
enemies, in the person of Duessa, vho, when she is not Theolo- 
gical Falsehood, is Mary, queen of Scots. 
This ambiguity of meaning is intensified by the mixture 
of Christian with pagan imagery, and by the blending of 
classical mythology, both with local antiquarian learning and 
with the fictions of romance. In the fifth canto of the first 
book, for example, Duessa, or Papal Falsehood, goes dovn to 
hell, under the guidance of Night, to procure aid from Aescu- 
lapius for the wounded paynim Sansfoy, or Infidelity; and 
her mission gives an opening for a description of many of the 
torments mentioned in Vergil's "Inferno." On her return to 
the upper air, she goes to the" stately pallace of Dame Pryde," 
in whose dungeons are confined many of the proud men 
mentioned in the Old Testament, or in Greek and Roman 
history. Shortly afterwards, prince Arthur relates to Una 
his nurture by the supposed historic Merlin; and the latter, in 
the third book, discloses to Britomart the line of British kings, 
as recorded by Geoffrey of Monmouth, and prophesies the 
reign of Elizabeth. 
Such profusion of material and multiplicity of motive, 
while it gives to The Faerie Queene an unequalled appearance 
of richness and splendour, invalidates the profession of Spenser 
that the poem is "a continued allegory." Allegory cannot 
be here interpreted as it may be, for example, in Plato's 
Phaedrus, where the myth is avowedly used to relieve and 
illuminate the obscurities of abstract thought. It cannot be 
interpreted in Dante's meaning, when he makes Beatrice say: 
"thus it is fitting to speak to your mind, seeing it is only from 
an object of sense that it apprehends what it afterwards 
makes worthy of the understanding." Nor does it approach 

66 The Poetry of Spenser 

in moral depth the simple allegory of Tire Pilgrim's Progress, 
in which the author evidently employs the form of a story merely 
as the vehicle for the truth of Christian doctrine. In other 
words, the sense of Spenser's allegory does not lie in its ex- 
ternal truth" its value is to be found in its relation to the 
beauty of his own thought, and in the fidelity with which 
it reflects the intellectual temper of his time. 
The main difficulty that Spenser had to encounter in 
treating the subject of The Faerie Queene lay in the conduct 
of the action. His design was at once ethical and practical, 
namely "to fashion a gentleman or noble person in vertuous 
and gentle discipline" ; and this he proposed to do by portraying 
"in Arthure, before he was King, the image of a brave Knight, 
perfected in the twelve private Morall Vertues, as Aristotle 
hath devised." But the knight, as such, no longer, in any real 
sense, formed part of the social organism. He had been rapidly 
vanishing from it since the epoch of the crusades, and almost 
the last glimpse of him in English poetry is in the fine and 
dignified person of the Canterbury pilgrim, the " verray 
parfit, gentil knyght," who is represented as having warred 
against the infidel on behalf of Christendom in Prussia and 
Lithuania. So long as it was possible to believe in his existence, 
men pleased their imaginations with reading of the knight's 
ideal deeds in the romances; but the time was close at hand 
when the romances themselves were, necessarily, to be made 
the subject of just satire. Absolutism had everywhere 
crushed the energies of feudalism; the knight had been trans- 
formed into the courtier; and the "x-ertuous and gentle disci- 
pline," deemed requisite for him in his new sphere, was, for the 
most part, to be found in such regulations for external behaviour 
as are laid down in Castiglione's II Coregiano. Long before 
the close of the eighteenth century, it would have been possible 
to write, mutatis mutandis, the epitaph of feudalism in the 
glowing words of Burke" 

The age of Chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists, 
and calculators has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extin- 
guished for ever. Never, never more, shall we behold that generous 
loyalty to rank and sex, that proud submission, that dignified 
obedience, that subordination of the heart, which kept alive, even in 
servitude itself, the spirit of an exalted freedom. The unbought 

The Chivalrous Spirit 9-67 

grace of llfe, the cheap defence of nations, the nurse of manly senti- 
ment and heroick enterprise is gone! It is gone, that sensibility 
of principle, that chastity of honour, which felt a stain like a wound 
which inspired courage whilst it mitigated ferocity, which ennobled 
whatever it touched, and under which vice itself lost half its evil 
by losing all its grossness. 
Spenser himself felt that he was dealing with a vanished 
state of things: 

So oft as I with state of present time 
The image of the antique world compare, 
When as mans age was in his freshest prime, 
And the first blossome of faire vertue bare; 
Such oddes I finde twixt those, and these which are, 
As that, through long continuance of his course, 
Me seemes the world is runne quite out of square 
From the first point of his appointed sourse; 
And being once amisse growes daily wourse and wourse. 

Under these altered conditions, it would be unreasonable 
to look in The Faerie Queene for a "continued allegory" of 
action. What we do find there is the chivalrous spirit, such 
as still survived in the soul of Sidney and a few others, uttering 
itself, vhen opportunity offers, in short bursts of enthusiastic 
and sublime sentiment, as in the following stanza on Honour: 

In woods, in waves, in warres, she wonts to dwell, 
And wil be found with perill and with paine; 
Ne can the man that moulds in ydle cell 
Unto her happy mansion attaine: 
Before her gate high God did Sweate ordaine, 
And wakefull watches ever to abide; 
But easy is the way and passage plaine 
To pleasures pallace: it may soon be spide, 
And day and night her dotes to all stand open wide. 1 

There is nothing in Orlando Furioso so lofty as this; nor 
can the great poet of Italian romance for a moment compare 
with Spenser in "that generous loyalty to rank and sex . 
that subordination of the heart," which, as Burke observes, is 
one of the noblest characteristics of chivalry. Not only does 
the ancient tendency to woman-worship, common to the 

tBook if, canto iii, stanza 4 r. 

268 The Poetry of Spenser 

Teutonic race, survive in the figure of Gloriana, The Faerie 
Queene, but in all Spenser's treatment "of female character 
there is a purity and elevation worthy of his chivalrous sub- 
ject. His Una and Amoret are figures of singular beauty, and 
his handling of delicate situations, involving mistakes about 
sex or descriptions of female jealousy, contrasts finely with that 
of Ariosto. The gross realism in the painting of Bradamante's 
feelings, when suspicious of Ruggiero's relations with Marfisa, 
set side by side with the imitation of that passage in the episode 
of Britomart, Radigund and Artegall, shows how wide a gulf 
of sentiment separated the still knightly spirit of England from 
the materialism of the Italian renascence. 
Finally, the genius of heroic action which, in the romances 
of chivalr'--as became the decentralised character of feudal 
institutions--is diffused over a great variety of actors, places 
and situations, tends, in The Faerie Queene, to concentrate 
itself in the person of the sovereign, as representing the great- 
ness of the English nation. The patriotic spirit of the tixnes 
constantly breaks forth in emotional utterance, as in the stanza 
describing the enthusiasm with which prince Arthur reads the 
books of "Briton documents." 
At last. quite ravisht with delight to heare 
The royall Ofspring of his native land, 
Cryde out ; Deare countrey ! O how dearely deare 
Ought the remembraunce and perpetuall band 
Be to thy foster Childe. that from thy hand 
Did commun breath and nouriture receave. 
How brutish is it not to understand 
How much to her we owe, that all us gave; 
That gave unto us all what ever good we have.t 
With the glorification of a patriot queen, Spenser was able, 
appropriately, to link all the legendary lore handed down to 
him by Geoffrey of .XIonmouth, together with the fables of the 
Morte d'Arlhtr, and with that local antiquarianism which, 
in the historical researches of men like Camden and Holinshed, 
had done much to kindle the English imagination. Contem- 
porary politics and personal association also furnished him with 
a large part of the material in his fifth book. 
The medium of allegory through which he viewed the 
 Book , canto x. stanza 6 9. 

Allegory in "The Faerie Queene" -69 

institution of knighthood, while it deprived The Faerie Queene 
of human interest and unity of action, gave fine scope for 
the exercise of the imaginative provers peculiar to the poet. As 
a poetical painter, using words and rhythms in the place of 
external form and colour, he is, perhaps, unrivalled. We pass 
through his scenes, laid in the "delightful land of Faerie," as 
through an enchanted landscape, in which a dream-like succes- 
sion of pageants, and dissolving views of forests, lakes, castles, 
caves and palaces, each suggesting some spiritual meaning, 
and, at the same time, raising in the fancy a concrete image, 
relieve the tedium of the journey. "An ampler ether, a diviner 
air," diffused by his imagination over the whole prospect, 
blends the most dissimilar objects in a general effect of har- 
mony; and so exquisite is the chiaroscuro of the composition 
that no sense of discord is felt in the transition from the celestial 
hierarchy to "Cupido on the Idaean hill," from woodland 
satyrs to the mount of heavenly contemplation, from Una, 
the abstract symbol of Christian truth, to Belphoebe, the 
half-pagan anti-type of the chaste Elizabeth. At the same 
time, each portion of the picture is brought into relief by 
the firmness of the outlines and the richness of the colouring, 
fine examples of which are the cave of Despair and the masque 
of the Seven Deadly Sins, in the first book, the house of Mam- 
mon and the bower of Bliss in the second. In these two books, 
as the spiritual sense is more emphatic, the allegorical imagery 
abounds: with the progress of the poem, the allegory dwindles, 
and adventures become proportionately more frequent; but, 
even in the third and fourth books, the poet always seems to 
diverge vith pleasure into picturesque descriptions, such as that 
of the witch's cottage, in canto vii Of book III, or the marriage 
of the Thames and the Medway, in canto xI of book IV. As 
a specimen of the mingled propriety and sublimity of allegorical 
painting, nothing finer can be found than the description, in 
the fragmentary legend of Constancy, of the Titaness Mutability 
in the moon--an image well fitted to exhibit the truths of 
Christian doctrine under the veil of pagan mythology: 
And now, when all the earth she thus had brought 
To her behest, and thralled to her might, 
She gan to cast in her ambitious thought 
T' attempt the empire of the heavens hight, 

27o The Poetry of Spenser 

And Jove himselfe to shoulder from his right. 
And first, she past the region of the ayre 
And of the fire, whose substance thin and slight, 
Made no resistance, ne could her contraire, 
But ready passage to her pleasure did prepaire. 

Thence to the Circle of the Moone she clambe, 
Where Cynthia raignes in everlasting glory, 
To whose bright shining palace straight she came, 
All fairely deckt with heavens goodly storie; 
Whose silver gates (by which there sat an hory 
Old aged Sire, with hower-glasse in hand, 
Hight Time) she entred, were he liefe or sory; 
Ne staide till she the highest stage had scand, 
Where Cynthia did sit, that never still did stand. 

Her sitting on an Ivory throne shee found, 
Drawne of two steeds, th' one black, the other white, 
Environd with tenne thousand starres around 
That duly her attended day and night; 
And by her side there ran her Page, that hight 
Vesper, whom we the Evening-starre intend; 
That with his Torche, still twinkling like twylight, 
Her lightened all the way where she should wend, 
And joy to weary wandring travailers did lend. 

Besides the imagination of a great word-painter, Spenser 
brought to the expression of his allegory the gifts of a skilful 
metrical musician. As in The Shepheards Calender, so in The 
Faerie Queene, it was his object to invent a kind of poetical 
dialect suitable to the unreal nature of his subject. Effects 
of strangeness and antiquity, mingled with modern elegance, are 
produced, in the later poem, partly by the revival of old words 
and the importation of foreign ones, partly by the musical 
disposition of words in the line, partly by combinations of 
rime, in a stanza of his own invention, constructed, by the 
addition of an alexandrine verse, out of the ten-syllabled eight- 
lined stanza used by Chaucer. The character of his vocabulary 
and of his syntax may be exemplified in the following stanza: 

And therewithall he fiersly at him flew, 
And with importune outrage him assayld; 
Who, soone prepared to field, his sword forth drew, 

Metre of "The Faerie Queene" -7i 

And him with equall valew countervayld: 
Their mightie strokes their haberjeons dismayld, 
And naked made each other manly spalles; 
The mortall steele despiteously entayld 
Deepe in their flesh, quite through the yron walles, 
That a large purple streame adowne their giambeux falles, t 

The idea of simplicity mingled with archaism here aimed 
at is also raised by the avoidance of anything like a precise 
search for epithets in those classical combinations of adjective 
and substantive which he frequently employs. His epithets 
are generally of the conventional kind--" busy care," "bloody 
might, .... huge great balance," etc. He also uses deliberately 
archaic forms, such as "to achieven" for "to achieve," 
"world6s" for "world's," and the like. The frequent use of 
inversions, such as "him assayld," "his sword forth drew," 
is, in part, the result of conscious archaism; but it is also the 
natural consequence of the recurrence of rime. This re- 
currence, again, suggested to Spenser many characteristic 
effects of sound: he saw, for example, that the immediate se- 
quence of rime in the fourth and fifth lines provided a natural 
half-way house for a turn in the rhetoric of the sentence; 
so that the fifth line is used, generally, either as the close of 
the first stage in the stanza, or the beginning of the second; 
but he is very skilful in avoiding monotony, and will often run 
a single sentence through the stanza, or will break up the 
stanza into as many parts as there are lines, e.g. 

Behinde him was Reproch, Repentaunce, Shame; 
Reproch the first, Shame next, Repent behinde: 
Repentaunce feeble, sorrowfull, and lame; 
Reproch despightfull, carelesse, and unkinde; 
Shame most ill-favourd, bestiall, and blinde: 
Shame lowrd, Repentaunce sighd, Reproach did scould; 
Reproch sharpe stings, Repentaunce whips entwinde, 
Shame burning brond-yrons in her hand did hold: 
All three to each unlike, yet all made in one mould. 

These metrical combinations and permutations are often 
employed very beautifully in pathetic passages: 

Book ii, canto vI, stanza 2 9. 2 Book III, canto XII, stanza 2 4. 

272 The Poetry of Spenser 

Ye Gods of seas, if any Gods at all 
Have care of right, or ruth of wretches wrong, 
By one or other way me, woefull thrall, 
Deliver hence out of this dungeon strong, 
In which I daily dying am too long: 
And if ye deeme me death for loving one 
That loves not me, then doe it not prolong, 
But let me die and end my days attone, 
And let him live unlov'd, or love him seKe alone. 

But if that life ye unto me decree, 
Then let mee live as lovers ought to do, 
_And of my fifes deare love beloved be: 
And if he should through pride your doome undo, 
Do you by duresse him compell thereto, 
And in this prison put him here with me; 
One prison fittest is to hold us two. 
So had I rather to be thrall then free; 
Such thraldome or such freedome let it surely be. 

But O vaine judgement, and conditions vaine, 
The which the prisoner points unto the free! 
The whiles I him condernne, and deeme his paine, 
He where he list goes loose, and laughes at me. 
So ever loose, so ever happy be! 
But where so loose or happy that thou art, 
Know, Marinell, that all this is for thee. 1 
Throughout the various examples here given, it will be 
noticed that alliteration plays an important part in the com- 
position of the general effect. Spenser would not have deigned 
to include himself among those whom his commentator E. I. 
calls" the rakehelly rout of our ragged rymers (for so themselves 
use to hunt the letter) "; but he knew that alliteration was in the 
genius of the English language, and he was the first to show 
its capacities for those liquid sequences of labial letters, carried 
through a rhythmical sentence, by means of which Milton 
afterwards produced his effects of verbal harmony. 
As his years advanced, Spenser seems to have felt more and 
more that his allegorical conception of court chivalry, founded 
on Platonism, protestantism and romance, had little corre- 
spondence with the actual movement of things. First of all, 
t Book iv, canto xII, stanzas 9--I I. 

Spenser's "Complaints" 

in 586 died Philip Sidney, the "president of nobleness and 
chivalrie," an irreparable loss to the cause of knighthood in 
high places, which is lamented in the pastoral elegy, Astrophcl. 
Besides this, the poet's expectations of his own preferment 
at cour had been sadly disappointed: the queen had favoured 
his suit, but the way was barred by Burghley, who seems to 
have borne him a grudge, probably on account of his early 
connection with Burghley's rival, Leicester. In 159 i, a volume 
of his collected poems was published with the significant title 
Complaints. An air of deep melancholy runs through most 
of the contents. In The Ruiues o] Time, dedicated to the 
countess of Pembroke, he makes the female genius of the 
ruined city Verulam lament, in touching stanzas, the death 
of Sidney, from which he passes to indignant reflections on the 
neglect o[ poetry by the great, in evident allusion to his own 
treatment by Burghley: 

0 griefe of griefes! 0 gall of all good heartes! 
To see that vertue should dispised bee 
Of him, that first vas raisde for vertuous parts, 
And now, broad spreading like an aged tree, 
Lets none shoot up that nigh him planted bee: 
0 let the man, of whom the Muse is scorned, 
Nor alive nor dead be of the Muse adorned! 

The same strain is taken up in The Tears of tlw ,l[uses, 
where the nine sisters are made in turn to bewail the degraded 
state of the stage and the different forms of literary, poetry. 
Of their laments, the most characteristic, as showing Spenser's 
lack of sy-mpathy with the development of the English drama, 
is that of Thalia: 

And him beside sits ugly Barbarisme, 
And brutish Ignorance, ycrept of late 
Out of dredd darknes of the deepe Abysme, 
Where being bredd, he light and heaven does hate: 
They in the mindes of men now tyrannize, 
And the faire Scene with rudenes foule disguize. 

All places they with follie have possest, 
And with vaine toyes the vulgate entertaine; 
But me have banished, with all the rest 
That whilome wont to wait upon my traine, 

The Later "Hymnes" 275 

Had founded for the Kingdomes ornament, 
And for their memories long moniment. 

Language of this kind seems to show plainly that the poet's 
advancement at court was barred by political obstacles. But 
he also had to encounter a certain opposition in the change 
of taste. In i59i, after a year spent with the English court, 
he returned to what he considered exile in Ireland, and there, 
in the [orrn of an allegorical pastoral, called Colin Cloztt's 
Come Home Again, he gave expression to his views about the 
contemporary state of manners and poetry. While exalting 
the person of the queen, with imagery never surpassed in 
richness, and paying noble compliments to those of her courtiers 
who had duly appreciated the beauties of The Faerie Queene, 
he reflects severely, through the mouth of Colin Clout, on the 
general state of courtly taste, especially in respect of love 

Not so, (quoth he) Love most aboundeth there. 
For all the walls and windows there are writ, 
All full of love, and love, and love my deare, 
And all their talke and studie is of it. 
Ne any there doth brave valiant seeme 
Unlesse tha some gay Mistresse badge he beares: 

For with lewd speeches, and licentious deedes, 
His mightie mysteries they do prophane, 
And use his ydle name to other needs. 
But as a complement for courting vaine. 

These strokes seem to be aimed partly at the degraded vein 
of Petrarchism, manifested abundantly in the sonnets of this 
period, and partly at the style of Italian romance, brought 
into fashion by Greene and his disciples. Spenser himself 
yielded not a jot to the fashion of the times. It is true that 
his Amoretti, written in honour of the lady to whom he was 
married in 1594, are conceived in the most conventional Petrar- 
chian spirit, as vhat we may suppose he thought most likely 
to please his "Elisabeth." But the description of "perfect 
love," and the praises of Rosalind in Colin Clout's Come Home 
Again, breathe the same heroic Platonism as his Hymnes to 
Love and Beautie; while, in his Prolhalamion, and, still more, in 

276 The Poetry of Spenser 

his Epithalamion, he carries the lyrical style, first attempted 
in The Shepheards Caleuter, to an unequalled height of har- 
mony, splendour and enthusiasm. In 595, he again came 
over to England, bringing with him the second part of The 
Faerie Queene, which was licensed for publication in January, 
595-6. While at court on this occasion, he seems to have 
resolved to oppose his influence, as far as he might, to the 
prevailing current of taste in poetry, by publishing his youthful 
Hymnes in honour of Love and Beautie. Lofty and Platonic 
as these were in their conception, he protests, in his dedication 
of them to "The Right Honorable and Most Vertuous Ladies, 
the Ladle Margaret, Countesse of Cumberland, and the Ladie 
Marie, Countesse of Waravicke," that he desires, "by way of 
retractation, to reforme them, making, instead of those two 
Hymnes of earthly or naturall love and beautie, two others of 
heavenly and celestiall." In the later Hymnes, he identifies the 
doctrine of Platonic love, in its highest form, with the dogma 
of Trinity in Unity" 

Before this worlds great frame, in which al things 
Are now containd, found any being-place, 
Ere flitting Time could wag his eyas wings 
About that mightie bound which doth embrace 
The rolling Spheres, and parts their houres by space, 
That High Eternall Powre, which now doth move 
In all these things, mov'd in it seKe by love. 

It lov'd it selfe, because it selfe was faire; 
(For faire is lov'd ;) and of it self begot, 
Like to it selfe his eldest sonne and heire, 
Eternall, pure, and voide of sinfull blot, 
The firstling of his joy, in whom no jot 
Of loves dislike or pride was to be found, 
Whom he therefore with equall honour crownd. 

With him he raignd, before all time prescribed, 
In endlesse glorie and immortall might, 
Together with that third from them derived, 
lIost wise, most holy, most almightie Spright! 
Whose kingdomes throne no thought of earthly wight 
Can comprehend, much lesse my trembling verse 
With equall words can hope it to reherse. 

=78 The Poetry of Spenser 

the nation, in its most influential elements, showed the doubt 
and hesitancy alxvays characteristic of times of transition. 
A clergy, halting between catholic tradition and the doctrines 
of the reformers; a semi-absolute queen, coquetting in her for- 
eign policy between a rival monarch and his revolted subjects; 
a court, in xvhich the chivalrous manners of the old nobility 
xvere neutralised by the Machiavelian statecraft of the new 
courtiers; a commercial enterprise, always tending to break 
through the limits of ancient and stable custom : these were the 
conditions which made it difficult for an English poet, in the 
middle of the sixteenth century, to form a view, at once clear 
and comprehensive, of life and action. 
Spenser himself evidently sympathised strongly with the 
old order that was passing axvay. He loved the time-honoured 
institutions of chivalry, closely allied to catholic ritual; he 
reverenced its ideals of honour and courtesy, its exalted 
woman-xvorship, its compassion for the poor and suffering. 
But, at the same time, he was strongly impelled by 
two counter-movements tending to undermine the ancient 
fabric whose foundations had been laid by Charles the Great: 
the zeal of the protestant reformer, and the enthusiasm for 
letters of the European humanist. The poetical problem 
he had to solve was, how to present the action of these an- 
tagonistic forces in an ideal form, with such an appearance 
of unity as should satisfy the primary requirements of his 
To fuse irreconcilable principles in a directly epic or dra- 
matic mould was impossible; but it was possible to disguise the 
essential oppositions of things by covering them with the 
veil of allegory. This was the method that Spenser adopted. 
The unity of his poetical creations lies entirely in the imaginative 
medium through which he views them. His poetical procedure 
is closely analogous to that of the first Neo-Platonists in 
philosophy. Just as these sought to evolve out of the decayed 
forms of polytheism, by means of Plato's dialectic, a new relig- 
ious philosophy, so, in the sphere of poetry, Spenser attempted 
to create, for the English court and the circles immediately 
connected with it, from the perishing institution of chivalry, 
an ideal of knightly conduct. Glimpses of real objects give 

Summary View of Spenser'", s 279 

an air of actuality to his conception; his allegory, as he 
himself declares in his preface to The Faerie Queene, has refer- 
ence to "the most excellent and glorious person of our Soveraine 
the Queen." Viewed in the crude light of fact, the court of 
Elizabeth might be, as the poet himself describes it in Mother 
Hubberd's Tale, full of petty intrigue, lmv ambitions, corrupt 
dealings, Machiavelian statecraft, shameless licence; but, ex- 
alted into the kingdom of Gloriana, clothed with the purple 
atmosphere of romance and the phantasms of the golden age, 
the harsh realities of life were veiled in a visionary scene of 
knights and shepherds, sylvan nymphs and satyrs, pagan 
pageants and Christian symbols; the ruling society of 
England was transformed into the " delightful land of 
The diction and the versification of Spenser correspond felici- 
tously with the ideal character of his thought. As in the later 
case of Paradise Lost, what has been justly called the "out-of- 
the-world" nature of the subject required, in The Faerie Queene, 
a peculiar vehicle of expression. Though it be true that, in 
affecting the obsolete, Spenser "writ no language"; though, 
that is to say, he did not attempt to amplify and polish the 
living language of the court, yet his mixture of Old English 
words xvith classical syntax, in metres adapted from those used 
by Chaucer, produces a remarkably beautiful effect. Native 
oppositions of style disappear in the harmonising art of the 
poet. Though ill-qualified to be the vehicle of epical narrative, 
the Spenserian stanza has firmly established itself in the 
language, as a metre of admirable capacity for any kind of 
descriptive or reflective poetry; and it is a striking illustration 
of what has been said in the foregoing pages that it has been 
the instrument generally chosen by poets whose genius has 
approached nearest to the art of the painter, or who have 
sought to put forward ideas opposed to the existing condition 
of things. It is employed by Thomson in The Castle of In- 
dolence, by Keats in The Eve o St. Agws, by Shelley in The 
Revolt of Islam and by Byron in Childe Harold's Pilgrimage. 
To have been the poetical ancestor of the poetry of these 
illustrious writers shows how deeply the art of Spenser is 
rooted in the imaginative genius of his country, and he needs 

280 ['he Poetry of Spenser 

no better monument than the stanza in his own Ruines oJ 

For deeds doe die, however noblie donne, 
And thoughts of men do as themselves decay; 
But wise wordes, taught in numbers for to runne, 
Recorded by the Muses, live for ay; 
Ne may with storming showers be washt away, 
Ne bitter-breathing windes with harmfull blast, 
Nor age, nor envie, shall them ever wast. 

The Model of Construction 

between 557 and 584, and acquired general popularity, little 
endeavour was made during those seven and twenty years to 
emulate its sonneteering experiments. In the earliest poetic 
miscellanies which followed Tottel's Miscellany, sonnets are 
rare. Only three quatorzains figure in The Paradyse of Daynty 
Devises, x576. Of these, only one pays any regard to metrical 
rules. The two others are carelessly formed of seven riming 
couplets, and the lines are not of ten but of tvelve or fourteen 
syllables. In the succeeding miscellany, A Gorgious Gallery 
of Gallant Inventions, 578, the quatorzains number no more 
than four. 
Despite Wyatt and Surrey's efforts, it was by slow degrees 
that the sonnet came to be recognised in Elizabethan Eng- 
land as a definite species of verse inviting compliance with 
fixed metrical laws. George Gascoigne, although he himself 
made some fifteen experiments in the true quatorzain, accu- 
rately diagnosed contemporary practice when he noted, in 
575, how "some thinke that all Poemes (being short) may 
be called Sonets, as in deede it is a diminutive worde derived 
of Sonare." This view held its ground more stubbornly than 
is often recognised. When Clement Robinson, in i584, 
published his Handeull o[ pleasant delites, he described the 
volume as containing "sundrie new sonets" with "everie 
sonet orderly pointed to its proper tune," and he headed many 
of his poems with such titles as"A proper sonet," or "A sorrow- 
[ul sonet." Yet Robinson's sonnets are all lyric poems of 
varied length, usually in four- or six-lined stanzas. No sonnet 
in the technical sense came from his pen. The tradition of this 
inaccurate nomenclature survived, indeed, to a far later genera- 
tion; and writers like Thomas Lodge and Nicholas Breton, 
who made many experiments in the true sonnet form, had no 
hesitation in applying the term to lyric efforts of varied metre 
and in stanzas of varied length, which bore no relation to the 
quatorzain. As late as 6o4, Nicholas Breton brought out 
a miscellany of poetry under the general title, The Passionate 
Shepheard; the second part bore the designation "Sundry 
sweet sonnets and passionated Poems," each of which is sepa- 
rately headed "Sonet I," and so forth; but two only of the 
poems are quatorzains and those in rambling lines of fourteen 
syllables. Breton's "Sonet I" is in thirty-four stanzas of 

286 The Elizabethan Sonnet 

A mort seigneur donnent un doulx desir 
De brievement soubz la terre gesir. 

Spenser first rendered these lines thus: 

My song thus now in hy Conclusions, 
Say boldly that these same six visions 
Do yelde unto thy lorde a sweete request, 
Ere it be long within the earth to rest. 

The text of the original Italian differs from both the French 
and the English, and is of superior point and quality. 
These youthful ventures of Spenser herald the French 
influence on Elizabethan sormeteering. But, among French 
sonneteers, neither the veteran Marot nor his junior Du Bellay, 
to whom Spenser offered his boyish homage, was to play the 
foremost par in the Elizabethan arena. Du Bellay, though 
a writer of sonnets on a very generous scale, fell below his 
leader Ronsard alike in productivity and in charm. Some, 
too, of Ronsard's humbler followers, notably Philippe Des- 
portes, were as sonneteers scarcely less voluminous and popular 
than their master. Ronsard and Desportes were the chief 
French tutors of English poets at the end of the sixteenth 
century, and Desportes, for a season, took precedence of 
Ronsard. "Few men," wrote Lodge of Desportes, in 59 o, 
"are able to second the sweet conceits of Philippe Desportes 
whose poetical writings are ordinarily in everybody's hand." 1 
At the same time, Petrarch and many of his Italian imi- 
tators were rediscovered by the Elizabethans, and Petrarch's 
sway was ultimately re-established, so that he and his Italian 
disciples exerted, at the close of queen Elizabeth's reign, the 
most powerful spell of all on English sonneteers. Elizabethan 
critics failed to detect in the Elizabethan sonnet much appre- 
ciable deviation from its Petrarchian archetype. "In his 
sweete-mourning sonets," wrote Sir John Harington, a typical 
Elizabethan, in x 59 x, "the dolefull Petrarke... seemes to have 
comprehended all the passions that all men of that humour 
have felt." Gabriel Harvey, in his Pierces Supererogation 
(x593, P- 6x), after enthusiastic commendation of Petrarch's 
sonnets ("Petrarch's invention is pure love itself: Petrarch's 

I .]largarite, p. 79- 

Thomas Watson's Sonnets 287 

elocution pure beauty itself"), justifies the common English 
practice of imitating them on the ground that 

all the noblest Italian, French and Spanish poets have in their 
several veins Petrarchized; and it is no dishonour for the daintiest 
or divinest muse to be his scholar, whom the amiablest invention 
and beautifullest elocution acknowledge their master. 

Spenser's youthful experiments attracted little attention. 
Thomas Watson was the earliest Elizabethan to make a reputa- 
tion as a sonneteer. Steevens, the Shakespearean commen- 
tator, echoing, with characteristic perversity, the pedantic 
view of some Elizabethan scholars, declared Watson to be "a 
much more elegant" writer of sonnets than Shakespeare. Wat- 
son, in truth, was a frigid scholiast, who vas characteristically 
indifferent to strict metrical law. Yet his work is historically 
of great value as marking the progress and scope of foreign 
influences. In early life, Watson translated all Petrarch's 
sonnets into Latin; but only two specimens of his rendering 
survive. This laborious undertaking formed the prelude to 
his sonneteering efforts in English. In 1582, he published, 
at the earnest entreaty of his friends, according to his own 
account, one hundred "passions" or poems of love, which 
contemporaries invariably described as sonnets, though, with 
rare exceptions, they were each eighteen lines long. The book 
was entitled: The EKATO3IIIA@IA or Passionate Centurie o 
Love. Conatulatory quatorzains prefaced the volume. One 
friend greeted Watson as the successor of Petrarch, the inheritor 
of that vein which glorified Madonna Laura. Another admirer, 
writing in Latin, credited Watson with the power of achieving 
for English poetry what Ronsard had done for French. 
The most curious fact about this first collection of so-called 
sonnets by Watson is the care with which the writer disclaims 
originality. To each poem he prefaces a prose introduction, 
in which he frankly indicates, usually with ample quotations, 
the French, Italian or classical poem which was the source of his 
inspiration. He aims at little more than paraphrasing sonnets 
and lyrics by Petrarch and Ronsard, or by Petrarch's disciples, 
Serafino dell' Aquila (1466-15oo), Ercole Strozza (1471-15o8) 
or Agnolo Firenzuola (i493-i548), together with passages 
from the chief writers of Greece and Rome. As a rule, his 

288 The Elizabethan Sonnet 

rendering is quite literal, though, now and then, he inverts a 
line or two of his original, or inserts a new sentence. In the 
conventional appeals to his wa)avard mistress, and in his ex- 
pressions of amorous emotions, there is no pretence of a reve- 
lation of personal experience. Watson's endeavour won almost 
universal applause from contemporaries, but it is wholly 
a literary exercise, which appeals for approval, not on the 
ground of sincerity of emotion, but, rather, by reason of its 
skill in dovetailing together fragments of foreign poetry. 
The welcome offered Watson's first published collection of 
sonnet-poems induced him to prepare a second, which, how- 
ever, was not issued till 1593, a year after his death. Watson's 
second venture bore the title The Tears of Fancie, or Love 
Disdained; it differed from the first in respecting the primal" 
law which confined the sonnet within a limit of fourteen lines. 
Although no apparatus criticus was incorporated with it, 
the influence of France and Italy was no better concealed from 
the seeing eye in Watson's final sonneteering essay than in its 
predecessor. Watson's Tears of Fancie were, once more, drops 
of water from Petrarch's and Ronsard's fountains. 
Watson's example largely encouraged the vogue of the 
Elizabethan sonnet, and crystallised its imitative temper. 
The majority of Elizabethan sonneteers were loyal to his arti- 
ficial method of construction. Some of his successors were 
gifted with poetic powers to which he was a stranger, and 
interavove the borrowed conceits with individual feeling, which, 
at times, lifted their verse to the plane of genuine poetry. 
Yet even from those sonnets which bear to Watson's tame 
achievement the relation which gold bears to lead, signs of his 
imitative process are rarely obliterated altogether. 
Sidney entered the field very soon after Watson set foot 
there; for some years both were at work simultaneously; yet 
Watson's influence is discernible in much of Sidney's effort. 
Sidney, admittedly, is a prince among Elizabethan lyric poets 
and sonneteers. He loiters far behind Shakespeare in either 
capacity. But Shakespeare, as a sonneteer, should, of right, 
be considered apart. 1 With that reservation, Sidney may 
fairly be credited as marching at the head of the contemporary 
army of sonneteers. 
 See the chapter on Shakespeare's poetry, in Volume V. 

Sidney's Sonnets 289 

Although the date cannot be stated with certainty, it is 
probable that Sir Philip Sidney's ample collection of sonnets, 
which is known by the general title of Astrophel and Stella, 
was written between the years I58o and 584. Widely 
circulated in manuscript before and after Sidney's death 
in I586, they were not printed till I59I, and then surrepti- 
tiously by an enterprising publisher, who had no authority 
from Sidney's representatives to undertake the task. It 
was not until 1598 that a fully authorised version came from 
the press. 
Sidney's sonnets, like those of Petrarch and Ronsard, form 
a more or less connected sequence. The poet, under the name 
of Astrophel, professes to narrate the course of his passion for 
a lady to whom he gives the name of Stella. The relations 
between Astrophel and Stella closely resemble those between 
Petrarch and his poetic mistress Laura, in the first series of 
the Italian poet's sonnets, which were written in the lifetime 
of Laura. There is no question that Sidney, like Petrarch, 
was, to a certain extent, inspired by an episode in his own career. 
Stella was Penelope, the wayavard daughter of Walter Deve- 
reux, first earl of Essex, and sister of Robert Devereux, second 
earl of Essex, queen Elizabeth's favourite. When she was 
about fourteen years old, her father destined her for Sidney's 
hand in marriage; but that project came to nothing. In 
58I, when about nineteen, she married Robert, second lord 
Rich, and became the mother of a large family of children. 
The greater number of Sidney's sonnets were, doubtless, ad- 
dressed to her after she had become lady Rich. In sonnet 
xxv, Sidney plays upon her husband's name of Rich in 
something of the same artificial way in which Petrarch, in his 
sonnet v, plays upon the name of Laura his poetic mistress, 
who, also, was another's wife. Sidney himself married on 
2o September, 1583, and lived on the best terms with his wife, 
who long survived him. But Sidney's poetic courtship of 
lady Rich was continued till near the end of his days. 
Astrophel's sonneteering worship of Stella enjoyed a 
popularity only second to that of Petrarch's poetic worship 
of Laura. It is the main theme of the collection of elegies vhich 
was written immediately after the tragically premature close 
of Sidney's life. The elegiac volume bore the title Astrophel; 

292 The Elizabethan Sonnet 

and Stella. Samuel Daniel's Delia and Henry Constable's 
Diana first appeared in 1592 , both to be revised and enlarged 
two years later. Three ample collections followed in 593 ; they 
came from the pens respectively of Barnabe Barnes, Thomas 
Lodge and Giles Fletcher, while Watson's second venture was 
then published posthumously and for the first time. Three 
more volumes, in addition to the revised editions of Daniel's 
Delia and Constable's Diam, appeared in 594, viz.: William 
Percy's Coelia, an anonymous writer's Zepheria and Michael 
Drayton's Idea (in its first shape). E. C.'s Emaricdulfe, 
Edmund Spenser's Amoretti and Richard Barnfield's Cyn- 
thia, with cerlaine Sonnets, came out in 1595. Griffin's Fidessa, 
Linche's Diella and William Smith's Chloris appeared in  596. 
Finally, in 1597, the procession was joined by Robert Tofte's 
Laura, a pale reflection of Petrarch's effort (as the name im- 
plied), although travelling far from the metrical principles of 
the genuine form of sonnet. To the same period belong the 
composition, although the publication was long delayed, of 
the Scottish poet, Sir William Alexander's Aurora and of the 
Caelica of Sidney's friend, Sir Fulke Greville. 
All these collections were sequences of amorous sonnets. 
The Elizabethan sonnet was not exclusively applied to themes 
of love. Religious meditation and friendly adulation fre- 
quently commanded the attention of sonneteers. But the 
amorous sequence is the dominant feature of the history of 
the Elizabethan sonnet. The spiritual and adulatory quator- 
zains fill a subsidiary place in the picture. The amorous 
sequences incline, for the most part, to Watson's level rather 
than to Sidney's, and, while they respect the English metrical 
form, they generously illustrate the prevailing tendency to 
more or less literal transcription from foreign masters. 
The sonneteering work of Spenser in his maturity is to be 
linked with Sidney. But even his metrical versatility and 
genuine poetic force did not preserve him altogether from the 
injurious influence of the imitative tendency. Only a small 
proportion of his sonnets embody original ideas or betray 
complete freedom in handling old conceits. In his metre alone, 
did Spenser follow a line of his own devising; his prosody 
diverged alike from the ordinary English, and the ordinary 
foreign, model. Most of his sonnets consisted of three quat- 

Spenser's "Amoretti" 293 

rains, each alternately rimed, with a riming couplet. Alter- 
nate rimes and the couplet were unknown to sonnets abroad. 
Yet Spenser followed the foreign fashion in restricting the total 
number of rimes in a single sonnet to five instead of extending 
it to seven as in the normal English pattern. He made the 
last lines of his first and second quatrains rime respectively 
with the first lines of his second and third quatrains, thus 
abab bcbc cdcd. Spenser approached no nearer the prosody of 
Italy or France. In three instances, he invests the concluding 
riming couplet with a wholly original effect by making the final 
line an alexandrine. 
Spenser bestowed on his sequence of eighty-eight sonnets 
the Italian name of Amoretti. His heroine, his"sweet warrior" 
(sonnet LWI), is the child of Petrarch's "dolce guerriera." 
His imagery is, at times, assimilated with little change from 
the sonnets of his contemporary Tasso, while Ronsard and 
Desportes give him numerous suggestions, although he rarely 
stoops to mere verbal translation of foreign verse. Spenser's 
Amoretti were addressed to the lady who became his wife, 
and a strand of autobiography was woven into the borrowed 
threads. Yet it is very occasionally that he escaped altogether 
from the fetters of current convention, and gave free play in 
his sonnets to his poetic faculty. 
Spenser's sentiment professedly ranges itself with continen- 
tal and classical idealism. In two sonnets he identifies his 
heroine with the Petrarchian (or Neo-Platonic) iSa of beauty, 
which had lately played a prominent part in numberless French 
sonnets by Du Bellay, Desportes, Pontus de Tyard, Claude de 
Pontoux and others. Many Elizabethan sonneteers marched 
under the same banner. Drayton, in conferring on his sonnets 
the title Idea, claimed to rank with the Italian and French 
Platonists. But Spenser sounds the idealistic note far more 
clearly than any contemporary. He writes in sonnet XLV: 

Within my heart (though hardly it can shew 
Thing so divine to view of earthly eye), 
The fair Idea of your celestial hew, 
And every part remains immortally. 

This reflects the familiar French strain: 

296 The Elizabethan Sonnet 

faculty of their verse became a staple, and, indeed, an in- 
evitable, topic. Especially did Drayton and Daniel vie with 
Spenser in reiterating the conceit. Drayton, who spoke of 
his sonnets as "my immortal song" (Idea, vx, 14) and "my 
world-out-wearing rhymes" (XtIV, 7), embodied the boast 
in such lines as 

While thus my pen strives to eternize thee. 
(Idea, xLIv, I.) 
Ensuing ages yet my rhymes shall cherish. (xLIv, I i.) 
My name shall mount unto eternity. (xLv, I4.) 
All that I seek is to eternize thee. (XLVII, I4.) 

Daniel was no less explicit 

This [sc. verse] may remain thy lasting monument. 
(Delia, xxxvli, 9-) 

Thou mayst in after ages live esteemed 
Unburied in these lines. 

(xxxx, 9, o.) 

These [sc. my verses] are the arks, the trophies I erect 
That fortify thy name against old age; 
And these [sc. verses] thy sacred virtues must protect 
Against the dark and time's consuming rage. (L, 9-I 2.) 

Shakespeare, in his reference to his "eternal lines" (XVIII, I2), 
and in the assurances which he gives to the subject of his 
addresses that his sonnets are, in Spenser's and in Daniel's 
exact phrase, his hero's "monument," merely accommodated 
himself to the prevailing taste, even if he invested the topic 
with a splendour that none else approached. But had Shake- 
speare never joined the ranks of Elizabethan sonneteers, the 
example of Spenser, Daniel and Drayton would have identified 
the Elizabethan sonnet with the proud conceit. 
It was not Spenser's work as a sonneteer which gave him 
his enduring place on the heights of Parnassus: he owes his im- 
mortality to other poetic achievement, which lent itself to 
larger and freer development. Some of Spenser's contempo- 
raries, who, although endowed with a more modest measure of 
poetic power, did not lack poetic feeling, unluckily confined 
their effort, in obedience to the prevailing vogue, almost entirely 
to the sonnet. The result was that the dominant imitative 

298 The Elizabethan Sonnet 

lyrics as well as of numerous sonnets in foreign collections. 
Like Spenser, he was well read in Tasso; and much of his inspira- 
tion came direct from Tasso's sonnets. The free pastoral poem 
beginning "O happy golden Age," which he appended to his 
sonnet-sequence Delia, is a felicitous, though literal, rendering 
of a song in Tasso's pastoral play Aminta, Atto I, sc. 2 (O 
bella eta de 'l oro). Many of Daniel's happiest quatorzains 
bear the same relation to preceding efforts of the same poet; 
and, in several cases, where Daniel's English text wanders 
somewhat from the Italian, the explanation is to be found, 
not in the free expansiveness of Daniel's genius, but in the de- 
pressing circumstance that Daniel was following the French 
rendering of Tasso by Desportes instead of making direct 
recourse to the Italian text. Tasso was only one of Daniel's 
many foreign tutors. It was probably on Desportes that he 
most relied and the servility of his renderings from the French 
is startling. 
Thomas Lodge, whose sonnet-sequence Phillis appeared in 
1593, improves on Daniel's example as a borrower of foreign 
work. In fact, he merits the first place among Elizabethan 
plagiarists. Of thirty-four poems in strict sonnet form which 
were included, without hint of any indebtedness, in his volume, 
Phillis, as many as eighteen have been tracked to foreign 
sources. These eighteen sonnets, which were published by 
Lodge as the fruits of his own invention, are shown on investi- 
gation to be literal transcripts from the French and Italian. 
Further investigation is likely to extend the range of his 
It is worth while to analyse the proofs that are at present 
accessible to Lodge's obligations. Lodge did not confine his 
borrowings to the great writers of France and Italy. He 
laid hands on work of second and third rate pens, which never 
acquired widespread fame. That six of the eighteen sonnets 
under examination should be paraphrases of Ronsard, or that 
five should translate Ariosto, is far less surprising than that 
three should come direct from an obscure Italian author, Lodo- 
rico Paschale, whose sonnet-sequence appeared at Venice in 
1549. Paschale was an undistinguished native of Cattaro, 
in Dalmatia, and his work has only once been reprinted since 
its first appearance, and that nearly two hundred years after 

Lodge. Drayton 9-99 

original publication. From Paschale comes one of the best 
known of Lodge's sonnets, which opens thus: 

It is not death, which wretched men call dying, 
But that is very death which I endure, 
When my coy-looking nymph, her grace envying, 
By fatal frowns my domage doth procure. 

Paschale's sonnet began thus (I549 edition, p. 4o verso) 

Morte non  quel che nwrir s'appella, 
Ma quella  ucra nwrte ch'io supporto, 
QuaMo ]ladomza di pier& rubella, 
A ,ne riuolge il guardo acerbo e torto. 

Other foreign poets on whom Lodge silently levied his heavy 
loans were Petrarch, Sannazaro and Bembo among Italians, and 
Desportes among Frenchmen. 
The only other Elizabethan of high poetic rank, apart from 
Shakespeare, xvho prominently associated himself with the 
sonneteering movement, was Michael Drayton. In one effort, 
Drayton reached the highest level of poetic feeling and ex- 
pression. His familiar quatorzain opening "Since there's 
no help, come let us kiss and part" is the one sonnet by a 
contemporary which deserves to rank with some of Shake- 
speare's best. It is curious to note that Drayton's triumphant 
poem was first printed in i619, just a quarter of a century 
after he first sought the suffrages of the Elizabethan public as a 
sonneteer. The edilio princeps of his sonnet-sequence, called 
Ideas lIirrour: Amours iu Ouatorzai,s, included fifty-two 
sonnets, and xvas reprinted no less than eight times, with much 
revision, omission and addition, before the final version came 
forth in i6 9. 
Drayton's sonneteering labours constitute a microcosm 
of the whole sonneteering movement in Elizabethan England. 
He borrows ideas and speech from all available sources at home 
and abroad. Yet, like many contemporary offenders, he 
deprecates the charge that he is "a thief" of the "wit" of 
Petrarch or Desportes. With equal vigour of language he 
disclaims pretensions to tell the stow of his own heart: 

300 The Elizabethan Sonnet 

Into these loves who but for passion looks: 
At this first sight, here let him lay them by 
And seek elsewhere in turning other books, 
Which better may his labour satisfy. 

For the most part, Drayton is a sonneteer on the normal 
Elizabethan pattern, and his sonnets are rarely distinguished 
by poetic elevation. Occasionally, a thin rivulet of natural 
sentiment winds its way through the fantastic conceits 
which his wide reading suggests to him. But only in 
his famous sonnet did his genius find in that poetic form 
full scope. 
The title of Drayton's sonnet-sequence, Idea, gives a valu- 
able clue to one source of his inspiration. The title was directly 
borrowed from an extensive sonnet-sequence in French called 
L'Idde, by Claude de Pontoux, a poetic physician of Chalon. 
The name symbolises the Platonic ia;o of beauty, which was 
notably familiar to Du Bellay and Pontus de Tyard in France 
and to Spenser in England. Drayton's "soul-shrined saint," 
his "divine Idea," his "fair Idea," is the child of de Pontoux's 
COlcstc IdOe, Fille de Dieu (sonnet x). But Drayton by no 
means confined his sonneteering studies to the volume whence 
he took his shadox3r mistress's name. Drayton's imitative 
appeals to night, to his lady's fair eyes, to rivers; his classical 
allusions, his insistence that his verse is eternal--all these 
themes recall expressions of Ronsard, and Desportes, or of their 
humble disciples. A little is usually added and a little taken 
away; but such slight substance as the sentiments possess is, 
with rare exception, a foreign invention. Doubtless, Drayton 
vas more conscious than his companions of the triviality of the 
sonneteering conventions. No precise foreign origin seems 
accessible for his sonnet (xv) entitled His Remedy ]or Love, 
in which he describes a potion concocted of the powder of a 
dead woman's heart, moistened with another woman's tears, 
boiled in a widow's sighs and breathed upon by an old maid. 
The satire is clearly intended to apply to the strained simples 
out of which the conventional type of sonnet was, too often, 
Like Sidney, Spenser and Daniel, Drayton, despite his warn- 
ing, added fuel to the fire of the sonneteering craze. His 

Barnfield. Barnes .3o 

work inspired younger men with the ambition to win the fame 
of sonneteer. 
The most accomplished of Drayton's disciples was Richard 
Barnfield, who dubs Drayton, "Rowland my professed friend." 
His endeavours are noteworthy because they aim at a variation 
of the ordinary sonneteering motive. The series of twenty 
sonnets which Barnfield, in i595, appended to his Cytlhia, a 
panegyric on queen Elizabeth, are in a vein which diflerentiates 
them from those of all the poets of the day save Shakespeare's 
sonnets. Barnfield's sonnets profess to be addressed, not to 
the poet's mistress, but to a lad Ganymede to whom the poet 
makes profession of love. But the manner in which Barnfield 
develops his theme does not remove his work very far from the 
imitative products of his fellow sonneteers. As he himself 
confessed, his sonnets for the most part adapt Vergil's second 
Eclogue, in which the shepherd Corydon declares his aflection 
for the shepherd boy, Alexis. Barnfield had true power of fer- 
vid expression, which removes him from the ranks of the poetas- 
ters. But his habit of mind was parasitic. He loved to play 
with classical conceits. His sonnets, despite divergences 
from the beaten path in theme, pay tribute in style and 
construction to the imitative convention. 
The collections of sonnets by Barnabe Barnes, and by 
Giles Fletcher, by William Percy, William Smith, Bartholo- 
mew Griffin and Robert Torte merit briefer notice. They 
reflect, with fewer compensations than their better known con- 
temporaries, the tendencies to servility. All but Fletcher were 
young men courting the muse for the first time, who did not 
pursue her favours in their adult years. They avowed disciple- 
ship to Sidney or to Spenser, to Daniel or to Dra_ton, and 
took pleasure in diluting their master's words xvith clumsy 
verbiage drawn from the classics or from contemporary 
poetry of the continent. Rarely did they show facility or 
individuality, and, still more rarely, poetic feeling. 
Barnabe Barnes, who made his reputation as a sonneteer 
in the same year as Lodge, was more voluminous than any 
English contemporary. He gave some promise of lyric power 
which he never fulfilled. As a whole, his work is crude and 
lacks restraint. At times, he sinks to meaningless doggerel, 
and some of his grotesque conceits are offensive. His collection 

302 The Elizabethan Sonnet 

of amorous sonnets bore the title of Parthenophil and Par- 
thenophe: Sonnets, Iadrigals, Elegies and Odes. Here, one 
hundred and five sonnets are interspersed with twenty-six 
madrigals, five sestines, twenty-one elegies, three "canzons," 
tventy odes (one in sonnet form) and what purports to be a 
translation of Moschus's first Eidullion. 
Many of Barnes's poems are echoes of Sidney's verse, both 
in Arcadia and in Astrophd and Stella. His canzon II is a 
spirited tribute to Sidney under his poetic name of Astrophel. 
The first stanza runs: 

Sing! sing Parthenophil! sing! pipe! and play! 
The feast is kept upon this plain. 
Among th' Arcadian shepherds everywhere, 
For Astrophel's birthday! Sweet Astrophel! 
Arcadia's honour! mighty Paris' chief pride! 
Where be the nymphs? The Nymphs all gathered be, 
To sing sweet Astrophel's sweet praise. 

Barnes also boasted of his debt to 

That sweet Tuscan Petrarch, which did pierce 
His Laura with love sonnets. 

But Barnes's volume is a spacious miscellany of echoes of many 
other foreign voices. He often emulates the anacreontic vein of 
La Pl(iade, and had obviously studied much Latin and Greek 
poetry of post-classical times. There is a likelihood that 
Shakespeare knew his work well, and resented the unaccount- 
able esteem which it enjoyed on its first publication. 
Giles Fletcher, a former fellow of King's College, Cam- 
bridge, was of maturer age than most contemporary sonneteers, 
when he brought out his sonnet-sequence of Licia, for he was 
then 44 years old. On his title-page, he boldly announces that 
his "poems of love" were written "to the imitation of the 
best Latin poets and others." In an address to his patroness, 
the wife of Sir Richard Molineux, he deprecates the notion that 
his book enshrines any episode in his own experience. He 
merely claims to follow the fashion, and to imitate the "men 
of learning and great parts" of Italy, France and England, 
who have already written "poems and sonnets of love." He 
regrets the English poets' proclivities to borrow their "best 
and choice conceits" from Italy, Spain and France, and 

A Rising Standard 3o3 

expresses a pious preference for English homespun; but this is 
a counsel of perfection, and he makes no pretence to personal 
independence of foreign models. 
A definite, if slender, interest attaches to Bartholomew 
Griffin's Fidessa, a conventional sequence of sixty-two sonnets. 
Griffin was exceptionally bold in imitating home products, 
and borrowed much from Daniel and Drayton's recent volumes. 
But it is worthier of remembrance that one of his sonnets, on 
the theme of Venus and Adonis, was transferred with altera- 
tions to Jaggard's piratical miscellany of 1599, The Passionale 
Pilgrim, all the contents of which xvere assigned to Shakespeare 
on the title-page. 
Only the worst features of the Elizabethan passion for 
sonneteering--its clumsy inanity and slavish mimicry--are 
visible in the remaining sequences which were published in the 
last decade of the sixteenth centur3". William Percy, in his 
Sonnets to the lairest Coelia, i593, bade his lute "rehearse the 
songs of Rowland's (i.e. Drayton's) rage," and found, with 
Ronsard, "a Gorgon shadowed under Venus' face." The 
anonymous poetaster who published, in i594, a collection of 
forty sonnets under the title Zepheria took his own measure 
when he confessed 

My slubbering pencil casts too gross a matter, 
Thy beauty's pure divinity to blaze. 

"R. L. Gentleman," doubtless Richard Linche, published 
thirty-nine sonnets, in 1596, under the title Diclla, a crude 
anagram on Delia. He freely plagiarised phrases and imagery 
of well known sonneteers at home and abroad. 
William Smith, a sycophantic disciple of Spenser, who 
published fifty-one sonnets under the title Chloris, in 1596, and 
Robert Torte, who "conceived in Italy" a sequence of forty 
sonnets in irregular metres, entitled Laura (i597) , merely give 
additional proof of the plagiarising habit of the day. 
But, as the queen's reign closed, there were signs that the 
literary standard of the sonnet-sequence of love was rising 
above such sordid levels as these. The old paths of imitation 
were not forsaken, but the spirit ot adaptation showed to 
higher advantage in the work of a few writers who, for the 

304 The Elizabethan Sonnet 

time, withheld their efforts from the press. Chief among these 
was the courtly Scottish poet, Sir William Alexander, afterwards 
earl of Stirling, who deferred the publication of his sonneteering 
experiment--" the first fancies of his youth"--till I6o4. 
Then he issued, under the title Aurora, one hundred and six 
sonnets, interspersed, on the Italian and French pattern, with 
a fev songs and elegies. Alexander is not a poet of deep 
feeling. But he has gifts of style which raise him above the 
Elizabethan hacks. Another Scottish poet, whose muse 
developed in the next generation, William Drummond of Haw- 
thornden, began his literary career as a sonneteer on the Eliza- 
bethan pattern just before queen Elizabeth died. In early 
youth, he made himself familiar with the most recent literary 
effort of Italy, and reproduced with great energy numerous 
Italian sonnets of comparatively recent date. But he impreg- 
nated his adaptations with a native fire which places him 
in an altogether different category from that of the juvenile 
scribblers of Elizabethan London. With these two Scotsmen, 
Alexander and Drummond, may be classed Sidney's friend, 
Fulke Greville, afterwards lord Brooke, who wrote (but did not 
publish) at the end of the sixteenth century a miscellaneous 
collection of poems called Cadica. The collection consisted of 
one hundred and nine short poems, on each of which the author 
bestowed the title of sonnet. Only thirty-seven, however, 
are quatorzains. The remaining seventy-two so-called "son- 
nets" are lyrics of all lengths and in all metres. There is little 
internal connection among Brooke's poems, and they deserve 
to be treated as a series of independent lyrics. Nor is there 
any sign of real passion. Lord Brooke's poetic mistresses, 
Caelica and Myra, are poetic figments of his brain, and he 
varies his addresses to them with invocation of queen Elizabeth 
under the poetic title of Cynthia, and with reflective musings 
on metaphysical themes. The style is less complicated than 
is habitual to Brooke's other literary work, and the medley 
sounds a melodious note. Greville emulated the example of Sir 
Philip Sidney; but the imagery often associates itself, more 
closely than was suffered by Sidney's aims, with the anacreontic 
vein of the Greek anthologists and of the French sonneteers. 
The series was published for the first time as late as i633 , 
in a collection of lord Brooke's poetical writings. It may 

Elizabethan Critics of the Sonnet 3o5 

be reckoned the latest example of the Elizabethan sonnet- 
The pertinacity with which the crude artificialities and 
plagiarisms of the sonnet-sequence of love were cultivated in 
the last years of queen Elizabeth's reign involved the sonnet as 
a form of poetic art in a storm of critical censure before the 
vogue expired. The rage for amorous sonneteering came to 
excite an almost overvhelming ridicule. The basest charges 
were brought against the professional sonneteer. Sir John 
Harington, whose epigrams embody much criticism of current 
literary practices, plainly states that poets were in the habit 
of writing sonnets for sale to purchasers who paraded them 
as their own. He mentions the price as txvo crowns a sonnet, 
and asserts: 
Verses are now such merchantable ware, 
That now for sonnets sellers are and buyers. 
There is, indeed, other evidence that suitors were in the habit 
of pleading their cause with their mistresses by means of sonnets 
which had been bought for hard cash from professional pro- 
ducers. In sonnet xxI, Drayton narrates hmv he was em- 
ployed by a "witless gallant" to write a sonnet to the wench 
whom the young man wooed, with the result that his suit 
was successful. Other grounds of offence were discovered in 
the sentimental insincerity of the conventional type of sonnet, 
which sanctioned the sickly practice of "oiling a saint with 
supple sonneting." The adjective "sugared" was scornfully 
held to be the epithet best fitted for the conventional sonnet. 
Sir John Harington, in an epigram "comparing the sonnet 
and the epigram" (Bk. I, No. 37), condemns the sonnet's 
"sugared taste," and prays that his verse may have salt to 
make it last. 
Sir John Davies was one of those who protested with 
vehemence against the "bastard sonnets" which "base 
rhymers" daily begot "to their own shame and poetry's 
disgrace." To expose the futility of the vogue, he circulated, 
in manuscript, a series of nine "gulling sonnets" or parodies 
of the artificial vices of the current fashion. In one of his 
parodies he effectively reduces to absurdity the application of 
law terms to affairs of the heart. The popular prejudice 
'OL. III--2o. 

306 The Elizabethan Sonnet 

against the sonnet found expression in most unlikely places. 
Echoes of the critical hostility are even heard in Shake- 
speare's plays. In The Two Gentlemen of Verona (III, 2.68 ft.) 
there is a satiric touch in the recipe for the conventional love- 
sonnet which Proteus offers the amorous duke: 

You must lay lime to tangle her desires, 
By wailful sonnets, whose composed rime 
Should be full fraught with serviceable vows... 
Say that upon the altar of her beauty 
You sacrifice your tears, your sighs, your heart. 
Mercutio treats Elizabethan sonneteers somewhat equivocally 
when alluding to them in his flouts at Romeo: 
Xow is he for the numbers that Petrarch flowed in: Laura to 
his lady was but a kitchen wench: marry, she had a better love 
to be-rhyme her. (Romeo and Juliet, , 4. 41-44.) 

When the sonnet-sequence of love was yielding to the loud 
protests of the critics, Ben Jonson, in Volpone (Act III, sc. 2) 
struck at it a belated blow in a contemptuous reference to the 
past "days of sonneting" and to the debt that its votaries owed 
to "passionate Petrarch." Elsewhere, Jonson condemned, 
root and branch, the artificial principles of the sonnet. He told 
Drummond of Hawthornden that 

he cursed Petrarch for redacting verses to sonnets, which he said 
xvere like that tyrant's bed, where some who were too short were 
racked, others too long cut short. 
(Jonson's Conversation, p. 4.) 

Jonson was here silently appropriating a depreciatory simile, 
which had been invented by a well known Italian critic of the 
sonnet, but there is no question that the English dramatist 
viewed the vogue of the Elizabethan sonnet as, for the most 
part, a discredit to the age. 
To what extent the critics of the Elizabethan sonnet were 
moved to hostility by resentment of the practice of clandestine 
translation from the foreigner offers room for discussion. 
A close study of the criticism to which many sonneteers were 
subjected leaves little doubt that plagiarism was out of har- 
mon:-: with the standard of literary ethics in Elizabethan 

Elizabethan Critics of the Sonnet 307 

England. The publication, in the avowed guise of an original 
production, of a literal rendering, not merely an adaptation, 
of a poem by a foreign contemporary exposed the offender 
on discovery to a severe censure. It has been suggested that 
foreign poetry was so widely known in Elizabethan England 
as to render specific acknowledgment of indebtedness super- 
fluous. But the poetic work which was tacitly translated 
by Elizabethan sonneteers often came, not from the most 
popular work of great authors of France and Italy, but either 
from the obscurer publications of the leading poets or from 
the books of men whose repute was very restricted. In com- 
paratively few cases would the average Elizabethan reader be 
aware that Elizabethan sonnets were translations of foreign 
poets unless the information were directly given him. More- 
over, whenever plagiarism was detected or even suspected, 
critics condemned in no halting terms the plagiarist's endear- 
our to ignore his .obligation. Of one who published without 
acknowledgment renderings of Ronsard's far-famed and pop- 
ular verse (although, as a matter of fact, the borrower was 
too incompetent to be very literal), Puttenham wrote thus in 
his Arte of English Poesie (1589): 

This man deserves to be endited of pety larceny for pilfering 
other mens devises from them and converting them to his own use, 
for in deede as I would wish every inventour, which is the very 
Poet, to receave the prayses of his invention, so would I not have 
a translatour to be ashamed to be acknowen of his translation. 

The word "larceny" is italicised in the original edition. 
Michael Drayton, in the dedication to his sonnets, in i594, 
charged the literal borrowers with "filching." Again, Daniel, 
a sonneteer who, despite his great gifts, depended largely 
on the literal inspiration of foreign verse, was forcibly rebuked 
by a discerning contemporary for yielding to a practice which 
was declared, without any qualification, to be "base." In the 
play The Returne from Parnassus (part II, act II, sc. 2), the 
following warning is addressed to Daniel: 

Only let him more sparingly make use 
Of others' wit, and use his own the more, 
That well may scorn base imitation. 

3o8 The Elizabethan Sonnet 

To the same effect was Sir john Harington's ironical epigram, 
i618 (ii, 3o), headed, "Of honest theft. To my good friend 
Master Samuel Daniel," which concludes thus: 

Then, fellow-Thiefe, let's shake together hands, 
Sith both our wares are filcht from forren lands. 

The extravagant character of the denunciation in which some 
contemporary critics of the plagiarising habit indulged is 
illustrated by another of Harington's Epigrams (II, 77), 
which is headed, "Of a censurer of English writers." It opens 

That Englishmen have small or no invention, 
Old Guillam saith, and all our works are barren, 
But for the stuffe we get from authors rotten. 

Elizabethan sonneteers who coloured, in their verse, the 
fruits of their foreign reading with their own individuality 
deserve only congratulation. The intellectual assimilation 
of poetic ideas and even poetic phraseology conforms with a law 
of literature which is not open to censure. But literal trans- 
lation, without acknowledgment, from foreign contemporary 
poetry was, with little qualification, justly condelImed by 
contemporary critics. 
Although the sonnet in Elizabethan England, as in France 
and Italy, was mainly devoted to the theme of love, it was 
never exclusively confined to amorous purposes. Petrarch 
occasionally made religion or politics the subject of his sonnets 
and, very frequently, enshrined in this poetic form the praises 
of a friend or patron. As a vehicle of spiritual meditation or 
of political exhortation or of friendly adulation, the sonnet 
long enjoyed an established vogue in foreign literature. When 
the sonnet-sequence of love was in its heyday in Elizabethan 
England, the application of the sonnet to purposes of piety 
or professional compliment acquired popularity. The art 
of the sonnet, when it was enlisted in such service, largely 
escaped the storm of censure which its amorous extravagances 
Barnes and Constable, in close conformity with foreign 
practice, each supplemented their amorous experiments with 
an extended sequence of spiritual sonnets. Barnes's volume of 

The Elizabethan Sonnet 

Ralegh, the poet's friend, prefixed two sonnets, the first of 
which was characterised by rare stateliness of diction. No 
better illustration is to be found of the characteristic merits 
of the Elizabethan vogue. Ralegh's sonnet was written in 
1595, when the sonneteering rage was at its height; and, while 
it attests the predominant influence of Petrarch, it shows, at 
the same time, how dependence on a foreign model may be 
justified by the spirit of the adaptation. Ralegh's sonnet runs 
as follows: 

A Vision upon this conceit of the Faery Queene. 
Methought I saw the grave where Laura lay, 
Within that Temple where the vestal flame 
Was wont to burn; and passing by that way 
To see that bured dust of living fame, 
Whose tomb fair love, and fairer virtue kept, 
All suddenly I saw the Fairy Queene: 
At whose approach the soul of Petrarch wept, 
And from thenceforth those graces were not seen; 
For they this Queen attended, in whose stead 
Oblivion laid him down on Laura's hearse. 
Hereat the hardest stones were seen to bleed, 
And groans of buried ghosts the heavens did pierce: 
Where Homer's sprite did tremble all for grief, 
And cursed th' access of that celestial thief. 

"Celestial Thief" is a weak ending, and crudely presents 
Ralegh's eulogistic suggestion that Spenser, by virtue of his 
great poem, had dethroned the older poetic deities. Ralegh's 
prophecy, too, that oblivion had, at length, "laid him down 
on Laura's hearse" xvas premature. The tide of Petrarchian 
inspiration flowed on long after the publication of The Faerie 
(2zweue. But Ralegh's sonnet, viewed as a whole, illustrates 
how fruitfully foreign imagery could work in Elizabethan minds, 
and how advantageously it could be applied to new purposes 
by the inventiveness of poetic genius. 


Prosody from Chaucer to Spenser 

N the shor summary or survey of the progress of English 
prosody which was given towards the end of the first 
volume of this history, we reached the period of the 
alliterative revival, in or about the early days of Chaucer. 
In the second and third volumes, the actual record of poetry 
has been carried, approximately, to the death of Spenser; 
and incidental notices of the prosody of nearly three centuries 
have, necessarily, been included. But it has been judged 
proper to continue here the retrospect, in connected fashion, 
of the general history of English versification. 
The prosody of the fourteenth century, after its very 
earliest periods, is a subject of very complex interest as well 
as of extreme importance; and its complexity is not really 
difficult to disentangle. It is from the neglect to study it as a 
whole, more, perhaps, than from any other cause, that general 
views of English prosody, in the not very numerous cases in 
which they have been taken at all, have been both haphazard 
and confused. Yet the facts, if only a little trouble be taken 
with them, offer their own explanation most obligingly, and 
illustrate themselves in a striking and, indeed, almost unique 
manner. The contemporary existence of such poets as Chaucer, 
Gower and whosoever may have written the tiers tlcr'iilai 
poems would be remarkable in any literature, at any time and 
from any point of view. In relation to English prosody it 
points, formulates, illuminates the lesson which ought to be 
learnt, in a manner which makes it surprising that this lesson 
should ever have been mistaken. The "foreign" element--the 
tendency to strict syllabic uniformity of the line and to further 
uniformity in its metrical subdivisions--receives special, and, 

Prosody from Chaucer to Spenser 

for a long time, almost final, expression in the hands of Gower. 
The "native" reaction to alliterative accentual rhythm finds 
its greatest exposition-exposition which seems to disdain 
formally all transaction with metre and rime, though it cannot 
altogether avoid metrical colour--in the lines of Piers Plmvman. 
And the middle vay--the continuation of the process which 
has produced Middle English prosody out of the shaping of the 
Old English lump by the pressure of the Franco-Latin mould-- 
is trodden by the greatest of the three, with results that show 
him to be the greatest. The verse of Piers Plewman does all 
that it can with the method--it makes it clear that no other 
knight on any other day of the tournament is likely to do better 
on that side--but it also shows the limits of the method and 
the weakness of the side itself. Gower does not quite do this, 
partly because he is weaker, and partly because he has a better 
instrument--but he shows that this instrument itself needs 
improvement. Chaucer shows, not only that he is best of all, 
not only that his instrument is better than the others, but 
that this instrument, good as it is, has not done nearly all that 
it can do--that there is infinite future in it. He experiments 
until he achieves; but his achievement still leaves room for 
further experiment. 
But, for real prosodic information, it is necessary to fall 
back upon the predecessors of these famous poets, in order to 
perceive how they reached their actual position. Naturally, 
when one comes to think of it, the predecessors of the right 
and left hand representatives are of less importance than those 
of the central protagonist. The attempts in more or less pure 
alliteration before Piers Plewmau hardly deserve study here, 
for Piers Pl.vmau "puts them all down": the practitioners of 
the octosyllable, more or less precisely written, are of even less 
account prosodically. But with the great mass of verse writers, 
in scores of varying forms, who are the active forerunners of 
Chaucer (whether he directly studied them or not is beside the 
question) it is very different. In the huge body of mostly 
anonymous verse which is contained in a series of manuscripts 
beginning with the Harleian 2253 and ending with the Vernon, 
and which includes the work of named writers like Hampole, 
William of Shoreham and Laurence Minot, we find endless 
experiment, in almost every instance of which the action and 

The Staple of English Poetry 

reaction of mould and mass continue to develop the main 
process often referred to. It is, of course, possible, by keeping 
the eye wholly to one side, to lump all or most of these things 
under general categories of "so many [generally four] stress 
lines," or, by directing it mainly to the other, to discover 
Latin or French originals more or less clumsily imitated. 
But if the examples are first carefully considered as individuals 
and the common features which they present are then pa- 
tiently extracted in connection, it will go hard but the nisus 
towards new forms, familiar to us later, will emerge. And, 
to some students at any rate, the presence of foot-arrangement 
and its resultsminchoate and imperfect as they may be--will 
pretty certainly manifest itself. 
The most important, if the most disputed, of these results 
is the actual attainment, whether by deliberate intention or not, 
of what was to become the great staple of English poetry, the 
"decasyllabic" "five-stress" or "five-foot" line. The older 
statements (not quite obsolete yet) that this line does not 
appear before Chaucerthat Chaucer "introduced" it--are 
certainly false; while the attempts sometimes made to assign 
its invention, and its first employment in couplets, to Hampole 
are not very well founded. Something, at least, very like 
it appears as early as the Orison of Or Lady, and frequently 
reappears in later poems, especially in The Pricke of Conscience, 
but also in other poems of the Vernon and other MSS. which, 
probably, are later than Richard Rolle. But it is, in this 
particular place, less proper to establish this point by detailed 
argument than to draw attention to the fact that it is only one 
result of a whole multitude--the result of the ceaseless and 
resistless action and reaction of "mould and mass." If 
the English decasyllable or heroic and the English alexandrine 
(which appears in many places, sporadically, from Mannyng 
to Piers Plowman), and combinations of them, with or without 
shorter lines, were merely imitations of French, they must have 
been more regular: their very irregularity shows that some- 
thing was forcing or cramping (for either metaphor may be 
used) the hands of the practitioners. 
The greatest of these practitioners naturally get their hands 
most free, but in different ways: in Piers Plowman, by shirk- 
ing the full problem on one side, in Gower, by shirking it on 

Chaucer's Successors 

in English prosody ever since. And both parties, however 
much they may differ on this point, agree, each on its own 
system, that the prosody and versification of Chaucer are as 
accomplished, as orderly, as reducible to general rule and 
system, as the prosody and versification of any poet in the 
world, at any time. That a different opinion was once and 
long held is universally admitted to have been the resull 
of sheer and almost excusable ignorance of certain facts 
affecting pronunciation, especially the pronunciation of the 
final -e. 
Thus, the prosody of the fourteenth century proceeds, as 
has been said above, in a manner perfectly intelligible and 
even surprisingly logical. The processes of adjustment of 
mould and mass certainly are at work in the thirteenth century; 
probably, if not quite certainly, in the twelfth; and they con- 
tinue, not merely unhindered to any important degree by the 
alliterative-accentual revival, but, in a certain fashion, assisted, 
and, as it were, clarified, by it, in the fourteenth. The more 
disorderly elements, the rougher matters, are drawn off into 
this alliterative direction. No very great poet shows himself to 
be a danger in the other direction of excessive smoothness and 
syllabic limitation; while a very great poet does show himself 
capable of conducting prosodic development on the combined 
principles of freedom and order. And, what is more, this is 
not only a great poet, but one recognised as great by his own 
contemporaries; and his reputation continues at its highest 
for more than another century. It might seem impossible 
that so favourable a state of things should turn to anything 
but good; that standards, at once so finished and so flexible 
as those of the heroic couplet and the rime royal of Chaucer, 
should be corrupted or lost. A stationary condition might seem 
to be the worst that could reasonably be feared; and there 
would not seem to be anything very terrible in a stationary 
state of Chaucerian verse. 
But the fifteenth century was fated to show that, in prosody, 
as in everything else, something unexpected is the only safe 
thing to expect. The actual versification of the successors of 
Chaucer has been discussed in the chapters appertaining to it; 
and it has there been pointed out that some authorities do not 
take so low a view of it as seems necessary to the present 

Prosody from Chaucer to Spenser 

writer, t But the fact remains that, in order to get the verses 
of Lydgate, Occleve and the rest into any kind of rhythmical 
system, satisfactory at once to calculation and to audition, 
enormous liberties have to be taken with the text; complicated 
arrangements of licence and exception have to be devised; 
and, in some cases, even then failing, the franker vindicators 
have to fall back on the supposition that mere accent, with 
unaccented syllables thrown in almost at pleasure, is the basis 
of Lydgatian and other prosody. Now, it may be so; but, in 
that case, the other fact remains that very small liberties, if 
any, need be taken vith the text of Chaucer; that necessary 
exceptions and licences in his case are extremely few; and 
that, vhether his metre be accentual or not, it is most certainly 
not nerely accentual, in the sense that unaccented syllables 
may be peppered down at pleasure as a seasoning, still less 
in the sense that the number of accents itself may be altered 
at pleasure. In rime royal especially, Chaucer's line-length 
and line-arrangement are almost meticulously correct. In his 
followers, examples of from seven to seventeen syllables, and 
of from four to seven apparent accents, are not merely oc- 
casionally, but constantl.v, found. And yet we know that 
almost all these writers had Chaucer constantly before them 
and regarded him with the highest admiration; and we know, 
further, that his followers in Scotland managed to imitate him 
with very considerable precision. 
No real or full explanation of this singular decadence has 
ever yet been given; probably none is possible. But, in two 
respects, at least, something like an approach may be made 
to such an explanation. The first of these is that Chaucer, 
assisted by Genius but somewhat neglecting Time, "standard- 
ised" the language rather too soon. We know that, in his own 
day, the management of the final -e was far less uniform and 
systematic in the case of others than in his own; that it was, in 
fact, changing into something like its modern value. This, 
of itself, would suffice, with its consequent alternate use 
and disuse, forgetfulness and remembrance-nay, its positive 
temptation to make a convenience and licence of the thing-- 
i Professor Iax F6rster of Wfirzburg has been good enough to favour me 
with a communication to the effect that some MSS. of Burgh, at any rate, 
are much less disorderly than the printed editions. 


to dislocate and corrupt the metre. .And there were certainly 
some, probably many, other changes which would help to 
produce a similar effect. Nor is it probable that many, if 
any, poets had a distinct theoretic understanding of the metres 
that they used--the best part of two hundred years had to 
pass after i4oo before we find trace of any such thing. They 
were "fingering" at Chaucer's measures by "rule of thumb," 
and with hands furnished with more thumbs than fingers. 
But there was probably another cause which, while less cer- 
tain, is highly probable though it needs careful study and appli- 
cation to its possible result. The alliterative-accentual revival 
had not only spread very far and taken great hold, but it had, 
as has been shown, exhibited a singular tendency to combine 
itself even with very elaborate metrical arrangements. Nor is 
there anything improbable in the supposition that this ten- 
dency spread itself much more widely than such unmistakable 
instances as the Awntyrs of Arthure, or the Epistill of Swore 
Susane, or even Gavin Douglas's eighth prologue would, of 
themselves, indicate. Nay, it is probable that the admixture 
xvas not so much an "adultery of al" as an unconscious 
Its results, however, were (except in one important respect 
to be noted later) rather unfortunate, and even in not a fexv 
cases very ugly. For exactly how much the combination 
counted in the degradation of rime royal and, in a less degree, 
of the decasyllabic couplet--the octos.xqlabic, always an easy- 
going form, escaped better--it would be rash to attempt to 
determine. But, almost indisputably, it counted for a great 
deal--for next to everything--in the rise of the curious 
phenomenon called "doggerel" which we perceive during this 
century, and which, towards the close of it, and at the beginning 
of the next, usurps a very great position in the realm of verse. 
Chaucer applies the term "doggerel" to undistinguished 
and unpoetic verse or rime, apparently of any kind; and the 
widest modem use of it is not dissimilar. But, at the time of 
which we are speaking--the whole (probably) of the fifteenth 
century and the beginning of the sixteenth--the word is 
wanted for a peculiar kind of verse, rimed, indeed, all but 
invariably, and deriving almost its whole poetical claim from 
rime, but possessing characteristics in some respects approach- 

38 Prosody from Chaucer to Spenser 

ing, on one side, unrimed accentual structure of various lengths, 
and, on the other, the rimed "fourteener" or its offspring, the 
common measure. 
We saw, in treating of GameIyn (which is pretty certainly 
older than the fifteenth century, though it is impossible to say 
how much), that the metre of that remarkable piece is the 
fourteener of Robert of Gloucester, "fingered" in a peculiar way 
mfirst by freely lengthening and shortening the iambic con- 
stitutents and, secondly, by utilising the middle pause in such a 
fashion as to make of the line two counter-running hMves, rather 
than one uniform current with only a slight centre-halt. It 
is from the neglect of fingering in this process, and from the 
increase of attention to occasional accent only, that the "dog- 
gerel" of which we are speaking, which is dominant in the 
Middle Drama, very frequent elsewhere and, perhaps, actually 
present in not a little literary rime royal verse, takes its rise. 
It varies greatly in length; but most writers group their dog- 
gerel, roughly, in passages, if not in whole pieces. The shortest 
form (except the pure Skeltonics) vaguely represents octo- 
syllabic or "four-accent" verse; the middle, decasyllables; 
the longest, alexandrines or fourteeners, though, in many 
instances, this telescopes itself out to sixteen or seventeen 
syllables, if not more, and tempts the reader or reciter to 
"patter," to take them or even four "short" syllables in the 
stride from one "long" to another. 1 The effect is sometimes 
suitable enough for the lower kind of comic verse; but, for 

' Some examples may 
.Skeltonic : 

be desirable: 

And as full of good wyli 
As faire Isaphyll: 
Swete pomaunder, 
Goode Cassaunder. 
Pseudo-octosyllabic : 
Very common--a fair sample is in Heywood's Husbaut, lVi[e and Priest, 
But by my soul I never go to Sir John 
But I find him like a holy man, 
where the very next lines slide into pseudo-heroics: 
For either he is saying his devotion, 
Or else he is going in procession. 
Pseudo-alexandrine: Bale's Kyng Johan : 
Monkes, chanons and nones in dyvers colours and shape, 


the higher kind, even of that, it is utterly unsuitable; while, 
for anything passionate or serious, it is fatal. It is the preva- 
lence of it, in combination with the similar but even worse 
welter in serious verse, which has given the fifteenth century 
in English poetry so bad a name that some native historians 
have often said little about it, and that some famous foreign 
critics have dismissed it, almost or altogether, with a kind of 
contemptuous kick. 
The result, however, if of doubtful beauty in itself, was 
probably necessary, and can be shown to be a beneficent 
chapter in the history of English verse. For, in the first 
place, the Chaucerian "standardising," as has been shown, 
had been attempted a little too early; and, in the second, there 
was a danger that it might have been carried yet further into 
a French uniformity and regularity which would have caused 
the abortion of most of the special beauties of English verse. 
And, though the main literary versification lacked music---even 
when, as, for instance, in Occleve, it had a certain mechanical 
correctnessmwhile the doggerel was not so much poetry as 
jog-trot, or capering prose, there was a third division of verse 
which, until lately, has received very little attention, but 
which far exceeded the other two in poetical beauty and also 
in real prosodic interest. This is the great body of mostly, 
if not wholly, anonymous ballads, carols, nursery rimes, folk 
songs and miscellaneous popular lyrics generally--much of our 
oldest suppIy of which probably comes from this century 
--as Chevy Chace, The Nut Brown Maid, the exquisite carol I 
sing of a maiden certainly do. 
The note of all these productions is that they were com- 
posed, in many cases, for definite musical accompaniment--in 
all, to be "sung or said," in some sort of audible measure and 
rhythm, from musical arrangement itself down to the reciter's 
drone, or the nurse's sing-song. One general result of this is 
that a merely prosaic effect is almost impossiblemthat there 

Both whyte, blacke, and pyed, God send their increase yll happe. 
Pseudo-]ourteeners : Thersites : 
To augment their joy and the commons felicity, 
Fare ye well, sweet audience God grant you prosperity. 
But it is important to observe that by "pattering" or dwelling, these 
kinds may be run into one another to a great extent. 

320 Prosody from Chaucer to Spenser 

must be some sort of rhythmical division and system, and 
that this must be marked. Another particular result of the 
greatest value is that "triple time" will not be gainsaid--or, 
in other words, that trisyllabic feet force their way in. The 
influence of music has not always been of unmitigated benefit 
to prosody; but, at this time, it could hardly, by any possibility, 
do harm, and might do infinite good. From the rough but 
still perfectly rhythmical verse of "The Percy out of Northum- 
berland," through the somewhat more regular and complicated, 
but equally unartificial "For I will to the greenwood go, alone, 
a banished man," to the delicately modulated melody of the 
carol above referred to, everything is equally opposed to the 
heartbreaking prose of the staple rime royal and the mere 
disorder of the doggerel. And what these now famous things 
show, dozens, scores, hundreds of others, less famous, show 
likewise. As the simpler and more uniform English line of 
which the iambic foot forms the staple--the line suitable for 
poems of length and bulk and weight--has been hammered 
into shape during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, so 
the varieties of mixed cadence, suitable for lyric, are now being 
got ready; and, by a curious dispensation, exactly while the 
staple line is being not so much hammered as blunderingly 
knocked and bulged out of shape. 
This lyric adjustment--which, in its turn, was to have im- 
portant effects later on the staple line itself--went on continu- 
ously till it developed and refined itself, by steps which may 
be noticed presently, into the unsurpassed composition of 
I58O--I66O. But, meanwhile, however slowly and tardily, 
the disorder of the staple line itself was reformed in two direc- 
tions. The literary line--which had aimed at following Chaucer 
or Gower, and had wandered off into formless prose--girt itself 
up again (something over tightly) into octosyllables and 
decasyllables, pure fourteeners or "poulter's measure." The 
loose forms recognised their real basis and became anapaestic 
--regular, though unmusical, at first--as in Tusser. The 
documents of the first change, so far as practice goes, are to 
be found in the corpus of English verse during the middle of 
the sixteenth century, beginning with Wyatt and Surrey. As 
concerns theory, Gascoigne's Notes o] I**struction, though a little 
late, shows us the completed process. Earlier, less explicit, 

The Reformers 

but not less really cogent evidence of discontent and desire 
to reform may be found in the craze for classical metres, the 
true source of which was by no means merely an idle desire 
to imitate the classics, but a very worthy, though mistaken, 
longing to get rid of the anarchy with which rimed English 
metres were associated, and to substitute a well tried and ap- 
proved order. But perhaps most noteworthy of all is a piece 
of prose discussion in A Mirror for Magistrates, where examples 
of the broken fifteenth century rhythm, which had been 
prevalent from Lydgate to Hawes, are produced, "misliked" 
and excused on the ground of their being suitable to the time 
of their subject--the reign of Richard III. This appears 
in almost the oldest part of that curiously composite book; 
and, in a part a little later, but still before Spenser, there 
is a deliberate description of English alexandrines as written 
in agreement with "the Roman verse called iambics." 
In the two famous writers in whom the reformation of 
English verse first distinctly appears, the reforming influences-- 
or, to speak with stricter correctness, the models chosen in 
order to help the achievement of reform--are, without doubt, 
Italian, though French may have had some subsidiary or go- 
between influence. Sonnet and terza rima in Wyatt, and the 
same with the addition of blank verse in Surrey (putting aside 
lyrics), tell the tale unmistakably. And it is to be noticed that 
sonnet, terza rima and blank verse--the first two by their ac- 
tually strict and rigid outline and the third through the fear 
and caution imposed on the writer by the absence of his usual 
mentor, rime, act almost automatically. But (and it is a 
precious piece of evidence in regard to their erring predecessors 
as well as to their penitent and reformed selves) it is quite 
clear that even they still have great difficulty in adjusting 
rhythm to pronunciation. They "wrench accent" in the 
fashion which Gascoigne was to rebuke in the next (almost 
in the same) generation; they dislocate rime; they have oc- 
casional recourse to the valued -e which we know to have 
been long obsolete, and even to have turned in some cases to 
the -y form in adjectives. 
Whatever their shortcomings, however (and, in fact, their 
shortcomings were much less than might have been expected), 
there is no doubt that the two poets whose names have long been 
?0I,. IIl-- I 

322 Prosody from Chaucer to Spenser 

and must always be inseparable deserve, in prosody even more 
than in poetry generally, the credit of a "great instauration" 
---of showing how the old patterns of Chaucer and others, 
adjusted to the new pronunciation, could be got out of the 
disarray into which they had fallen, by reference (immediately) 
to Italian models. Nor is it superfluous to point out that 
Italian, though apparently a language most different in vocal- 
isation and cadence from English, has the very point in com- 
mon with us which French lacks--the combination, that is to 
say, of strict, elaborate and most various external conformation 
of stanza with a good deal of syllabic liberty inside the line. 
These two things vere exactly vhat wanted encouragement 
in English: and Italian gave them together. 
For the moment, however, and naturally, the stricter side 
of the teaching xvas more attended to than the looser. The 
older prosody, at an exceedingly uncertain time but, most 
probably, on the bridge of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, 
had produced some very lovely things: not only the three above 
mentioned (of which only The Nut Brmvn Maid can be later 
than the middle of the fifteenth century, and that may not be) 
but others certainly early, such as E. I. 0., (2uia amore lm,gueo 
and many less known pieces. But doggerel had invaded lyric 
too, and sunk it to merely popular uses; and it would be difficult 
to pick out a really beautiful lyric that is certainly of the last 
generation of the fifteenth or the first of the sixteenth century. 
Here, therefore, as elsewhere, the reform had to be rather in the 
precise direction; and for at least fifty years from Wyatt (who 
must have begun writing as early as x53o) to Spenser, English 
lyric, like English poetry generally, is "on its good behaviour"; 
careful of syllabic exactness within and correspondence with- 
out; afraid of trisyllabic liberty; obviously nervous and "keep- 
ing its foot," lest it slip into the quicksand of doggerel or the 
quagmire of scarcely rhythmed prose. 
To say this is by no means (as some seem rather uncriti- 
cally to interpret it) to speak disobligingly of the lesser con- 
tributors to Tottd's Miscellany, of Turbervile, of Gascoigne, or 
even of Googe, though in all these (especially in the first 
mentioned group and the last mentioned individual) exactness 
is too often secured by sing-song and jog-trot. Certainly it is 
not to belittle the work of Wyatt and Surrey and Sackwille, 

The Reformers 323 

though, in the first two of these, especially in their "poulter's 
measure," sing-song and jog-trot do appear. The fact is that 
the business of this generation--almost of these two genera- 
tionsmwas to get things ready for their successors--to make 
a new raising of English prosody to its highest poxver possible 
in the hands of Spenser and Shakespeare, by once more thor- 
oughly stamping it with rhythm. Chaucer had done this, 
but the material had given xvay; and, in doing so, it had cast an 
obsolete air on the forms themselves. Thus, even the magni- 
ficent rime royal of Sackville, full of the new and truly Eliza- 
bethan spirit as it is, has a sort of archaic and artificial air at 
times, the air of something that, if it were less magnificent, 
might be called pastiche. And nobody until Spenser himself 
mand not the earliest Spensermwrites good "riding rime." 
But they exercise themselves in the regular fourteener, split 
and coupleted or sandwiched with alexandrines, as if this 
return to almost the oldest of English metres were instinctively 
felt to have some exercising and energising quality. And 
they practise, sometimes, very prettily and always very care- 
fully, divers lyrical measures of good gymnastic poxver. The 
sonnet is too high for most of them, after the original adventur- 
ers: it will have to wait a little. But blank verse, handled in a 
stiff and gingerly manner, is still nov and then practised, 
especially by that great experimenter and systematic prosodist 
Gascoigne. Some of them, especially Turbervile, can get a 
good deal of sweetness out of variegated rime. 
In one department only, by a singular contrast, does 
anarchy hold its ground almost to the last: and that is the 
drama. The fact can hardly be quite unconnected with the 
other fact that the pure medieval drama had been rather 
remarkable for prosodic elaboration and correctness, its 
vehicles being, in the main, either fair octosyllabic couplets or 
more or less complicated lyrical stanzasmoften quite exact 
in construction and correspondence. But doggerel had broken 
in early and was, no doubt, encouraged by the matter of 
moralities and interludes, when these came to take the place 
of the miracle plays. At any rate, by the end of the fifteenth 
century and throughout the first two-thirds, if not the first 
three-fourths, of the sixteenth, the drama was simply overrun 
with doggereldoggerel of all sorts and shapes and sizes. 

324 Prosody from Chaucer to Spenser 

Yet, even here, the tendency to get out of the welter at last 
made itself felt. First, the doggerel tried to collect and solidify 
itself back into the fourteener from which it had, in a manner, 
"deliquesced." Then it tried couplet or stanza in decasyllables. 
And then, the stern standard of the Gorboduc blanks at last 
reared itself, too stern and too stiff to draw many followers 
round it at first, but destined to undergo transformation till 
it became one of the most wonderful of metres past, present, 
or even, perhaps, to come--the rimeless, rhythmful, Protean- 
Herculean blank verse of Shakespeare. 
But we are less concerned here with the fortunes of par- 
ticular metres, or particular styles, than with the general 
progress of English prosody. This--at a period the signpost 
to which is the publication of The Shepheards Calender but 
the influences and attainments of which are not, of course, 
limited to a single book or a single person--had reached 
one of its most important stages, a stage unparalleled in im- 
portance except by those similarly indicated in The Can- 
lcrbury Tales and Paradise Losl. During the fifteenth century, 
it had been almost unmade from some points of view; but 
invaluable assistances for the remaking had been accumulated 
in all sorts of b3m-ays. In the two middle quarters of the 
sixteenth, it had been almost remade--in the sense that the 
presence of general rhythm had been restored in accordance 
with actual pronunciation ; and that, as one school of prosodists 
would say, stressed and unstressed, accented and unaccented 
syllables, had been taught to observe more orderly and pro- 
portional arrangement: as another, that metrical scansion 
by feet had been once more vindicated and regimented. ]But, 
during these two generations of reforming experiment, there 
had been comparatively few poets of distinguished genius: 
of those who possessed it, Wyatt and Surrey came a little too 
early, Sackwille practised on too small a scale and in too few 
varieties. Nay, the verT fact of reforming and innovating 
experiment necessitated a period of go-cart and then, as it 
were, one of marking time. 
]But, by 58o, or a little earlier, both these periods were 
over, and the flock of singers of the great Elizabethan time 
found that they had been relieved of the preliminary drill. 
Even the classical metre crazethreatening as it might seem 

The Shepheards Calender 

to be to English poetry and prosodyclid good, not merely 
by showing what is not the way, but by emphasising the most 
important characteristic of what is: that is to say, the com- 
position of the line, not by a muddle of promiscuous syllables, 
but by constituents themselves regularly and systematically 
composed and constituted. Even the "woodenness" of blank 
verse at first forces the ear to attend to the order and position 
of the stresses, to the existence and conformation of the feet. 
The jog-trot of the fourteeners and the "poulter's measure" 
says the same thing heavily, as do the varied lyrical forms of 
Gascoigne and Turbervile not so heavily; nay, the so-called 
doggerel of Tusser (which is only doggerel in phrase and subject 
and spirit, for its form is quite regular) says nothing else. 
Whether it canters or trots, it may now seem to some ears to 
run "mind your feet" and, to others, "mind your stress"; 
but the difference is here merely logomachic. They heard 
it then--into whatever words they translated it--and they 
went and did it. 
It may seem that the selection of Spenser to show exactly 
what this stage signifies is unjust to others. Certainly, if 
misunderstood, it would be so. It is as nearly certain as 
anything can be that Sidney and others did not learn their 
prosody from Spenser, and that even Drayton and other 
men, who lived and wrote far into the seventeenth century, 
were, in a sense, rather his junior schoolfellows than his 
pupils. But his direct influence soon became immense and 
all-pervading, and, as an early and masterly representative of 
influences that others were feeling, there is no one to match 
him. The prosodic lessons of The Shepheards Calender are all 
but unmistakable. On one point only is difference of opinion 
of an important kind possible--whether the famous loose metre 
of February and two other months is definite Gcwsis and 
Exodus or Christabd (to look before and after)re" four-stress" 
or "iambic" with trisyllabic substitution permitted--or 
whether it is an attempt at Chaucerian" five-stress" or" heroic." 
The present writer has not the slightest doubt on the subject: 
but others have. Omitting this, every metre in the Calender, 
and every one subsequently tried by its author, though it may 
be differently named by different systems, is, with the proper 
translations of terminology, unmistakable. In the various 

326 Prosody from Chaucer to Spenser 

forms of identical stanza, from the sizain through the septet 
and octave to his own special creation; in the sonnet; in the 
still larger strophes of his odes; in the more variegated lyrical 
outlines of some of the Caleuter poems; in the riding rime 
(here quite unmistakable) of Mother Hubberd's Tale---the exact 
and regular accentuation or quantification of each scheme 
is unerringly observed. That great bone of contention, the 
"trisyllabic foot," in metre not based trisyllabically, makes 
comparatively rare appearance in him; the believers in "slur" 
or "elision" seldom have to resort to either expedient. There 
are a very few possible alexandrines (outside the last line) 
in The Faerie Queew; but they are probably, or certainly, over- 
sights, tie fingers this regularly rhythmical line, whatever 
its lenh, into the widest variety by altering the pauses and 
weighting or lightening special places with chosen phrase. 
He runs the lines into one another, or holds them apart within 
the stanza, inexhaustibl.v. But, on the whole, despite his 
great variety of outline and combined form, he is once more 
a prophet and a practitioner of regularityof orderof un- 
broken, uneccentric, music and rh.-thm. This is his mission 
in prosodyto make, so far as his example can reach, a galli- 
maufry and jumble of mixed and jolting cadences impossible or 
intolerable in English. His very abandonment of the promising, 
and, as it afterwards turned out, inestimable, "Oak and Brier" 
measure, is, on one theory of that measure, just as much as 
on another, evidence of a final dislike to even the possibility 
of such jumble and jolt. 
To, and with, one great measure, Spenser (except doubt- 
fully and in his earliest youth) did nothing; and it was as x'ell 
that he did nothing. Nor is this yet the place in which to take 
any general survey of the features and progress of blank 
verse; for, though they had, by the end of the queen's reign, 
reached almost, or quite, their highest, it was as part of a move- 
ment which was still moving and which certainly could not 
yet be said to be moving downward. But the reason why it 
was well that Spenser took no part in this is that his mission 
was, as has been said, essentially a mission, though not of cramp 
or fetter, of order and regularity. Now, blank verse did not 
require such a missioner then. It had started, in the first ar- 
dour of the movement against doggerel, with severe practice and 

Spenser's Mission 327 

example on the part of Surrey and, later, of Sacl-ille. What 
it wanted, and what it received, was experiment and explora- 
tion of the most varied and daring kind, in all its own possible 
licences and transformations. Spenser, be it repeated, was not 
the man to do anything of that kind for it; and the two wisely 
let each other alone. 
Even in regard to blank verse, however, the Spenserian 
lesson must have been of inestimable service. It is hardly 
excessive or fanciful to regard him, not merely as one of the 
greatest and one of the very first of Elizabethan composers, 
but as the greatest and the first of Elizabethan conductors, an 
impeccable master of rhythm, time and tune. This was what 
English poetry had wanted for nearly two hundred years and 
had now got. The ear was taught and the correspondence 
between ear and tongue was established. Nor--with a pretty 
large exception in regard to blank verse, where Spenser's 
baton was quiet, in the mid-seventeenth century, and some- 
thing of one in regard to the looser form of heroic couplet 
about the same time--were these great gains ever let slip. 
Their exercise, indeed, was, later, confined and hampered 
unduly; but its principle was not controverted. In Edward 
VI's time, this general system of rhythm, time and tune had 
but just been tentatively and imperfectly attained by Wyatt 
and Surrey; there has not been any general change in it from 
Spenser's period to the time of Edward VII. A few words have 
changed their usual accent and Spenser's peculiar system of 
"eye-rime" has made it desirable to keep his spelling, lest we 
destroy an effect which he wished to produce. But, whatever 
you do with the spelling, you will not alter the rhythm; 
whereas, if you modernise Chaucer, you must either put con- 
tinual new patches and pieces into the verse or lose the rhythm 
altogether. Words may fall out, and words may come in, but 
the latter find, as the former leave, a fixed system of prosodic 
arrangement to which they have but to adjust themselves. 
Ben Jonson may have been right or wrong in saying that 
Spenser "writ no language," while he certainly was wrong 
in assigning mere "imitation of the ancients" as the cause 
thereof. But, though he did not--it is said--like the Spen- 
serian stanza, his own more authentic and half-casual selection 
of Spenser as the antithesis to "the Water poet" shows us 

328 Prosody from Chaucer to Spenser 

that he did not go wrong on his poetic powers. Amongst 
the evidences of those powers it would be ridiculous to 
say to-day that Spenser discovered the rhythmical-metrical 
system of English poetry; and it would be unjust to say that 
he alone rediscovered and adjusted it to existing circumstances. 
But he was among the rediscoverers: and the greatest of them 
up to his own time. In all matters of English prosody, except 
blank verse and the trisyllabically based measures, we may go 
back to Spenser and to his generation for example and practi- 
cal precept; and it will always be possible so to go back until 
the language undergoes some transformation of which there 
is not at present even the faintest symptom. 

330 Elizabethan Criticism 

esting, though a rather infantine, body it is. His very earlies 
work, the translation of the Recuydl, is dictated to him by his 
sense of "the fair language of French, xvhich was in prose so 
well and compendiously set and written." He afterwards 
"remembers himself of his simpleness and unperfectness" 
in both languages. He perceives, in reference to the Dictes 
of the Philosophers, that lord Rivers's translation is "right well 
and cunningly made." He sees that, though Boethius was 
"an excellent author of divers books craftily and curiously 
made in prose and metre," yet the style of De Consolatione 
is "hard and difficult," so that Chaucer deserved "perpetual 
laud" for translating it. Benet Burgh has "full craftily 
made" Cato in "ballad royal." And the praises of The Can- 
tcrbury Tales and of the lllorte d'Arthur, more elaborate 
than these, but also much better known, might be called the 
first real "appreciations" in English. 
These elementary and half unconscious critical exercises 
of Caxton, as a moment's thought will show, must have had 
a great influence, exercised, no doubt, as unconsciously as 
it was generated, on the new readers of these nev printed 
books. Yet it was long before the seed fell into a soil where 
it could germinate. Even when, at the beginning of the next 
century, regular Rhetorics began to be written at first hand 
in imitation of the ancients, or through modern humanists 
like .Melanchthon (the earliest instance, apparently, is that of 
Leonard Coxe of Reading, in x524), the" temptation to stray 
from strictly formal rhetoric into criticism was not much felt 
until there arose at Cambridge, towards the middle of the 
century, that remarkable school of friends who are represented 
in the history of English prose by Ascham, Cheke and Wilson, 
and vhose share in the revival of letters is dealt with elsewhere 
in the present volume. 1 Even then, on the eve of Elizabeth's 
reign, and with the new burst of Italian critical vriting begun 
by Trissino, Daniello and Vida, the critical utterances are 
scanty, quite unsystematic and shot (as one of the three 
would have said) "at rovers." The really best work of the 
trio in this kind is Cheke's, who, if he was mistaken in his 
caution to Sir Thomas Hoby against the practice of borrowing 
from ancient tongues in modem,  has left us, in the criticism 
' See Chaps. I and xxx.  See Chap. xx. 

Ascham 33 r 

on Sallust quoted by Ascham, a really solid exercise in the art: 
not, of course, absolutely right--few things are that in criti- 
cismbbut putting one side of rightness forcibly and well, in 
his depreciation (as (Quintilian, doubtless his inspirer, has put 
it) of "wishing to write better than you can." It may, 
however, be noted that all the three set themselves against 
over-elaboration of style in this way or that. It was this 
which provoked Thomas Wilson (whom we may not now, it 
seems, call "Sir" Thomas) to diverge from the usual course of 
rhetorical precept, not merely into some illustrative tales, but 
into a definite onslaught on" inkhorn" terms--foreign, archaic, 
technical or vhat not. It is not known exactly vho first hit 
on this phrase, the metaphor of which is sufficiently obvious; 
but it is freely used about this time. And we can quite easily 
see hmv the "aureate" phraseology of the fifteenth century-- 
the heavy bedizenment of Latinised phrase, which we find 
not merely in poetry but in such books as the early English 
version of Thomas  Kempis--must have challenged opposition 
on the part of those who were arLxious, indeed, to follow the 
classics for good, but desirous, at the same time, that "our 
English" should be written "pure." And the contemporary 
jealousy and contempt of the medieval appears not less clearly 
in Wilson's objection to the Chaucerising which Thynne's 
edition, evidently, had made fashionable. 
The strengthening power of the critical sense, however, 
and, at the same time, its lack of education and direction, are 
best shown in Ascham. It is something, but not much, that 
he exhibits to the full that curious confusion of aesthetic 
and ethic which, essentially Platonic and patristic, cannot be 
said to have been wholly discouraged by Aristotle, and which 
the period, uniting, for once, the three tendencies, maintained, 
almost in the teeth of its own humanism, more strenuously than 
ever. This confusion, or--to adopt a less question-begging 
word--this combination, has always had, has and, no doubt, 
always will have, its defenders: nor is it a bad thing that they 
should exist, as protesters against the too absolute doctrine 
of "art for art only." But Ascham's inability to apply the 
strictly critical distinguo extends far beyond the condemnation 
of romance as suggesting the violation of the sixth and seventh 
commandments, or the discouragement of the importation 

332 Elizabethan Criticism 

of foreign literature as involving that of foreign immorality, 
or (this is Cheke, not Ascham, but Ascham approves it) 
the urging of Sallust's laxity of conduct as an argument against 
his literary competence. It is not shown in the unceasing 
opposition of the whole trio to "aureate" and "inkhorn'" 
terms, an opposition which may, indeed, have been excessive, 
but which caImot be said to have been misplaced, when such 
a man as Hawes, not so many years earlier, could be guilty of 
two such consecutive lines as 
Degouted vapoure most aromatyke, 
And made conversyon of complacence. 
It appears mainly, and most dangerously, in Ascham's 
doctrine of Imitation. Of this imitation, he distinguishes 
two kinds (literally, three, but, as he himself says, "the third 
belongeth to the second "). The first of these is the original 
mimesis of .\ristotle" "a fair lively painted picture of the life 
of every degree of man." The second is "to follow, for learning 
of tonmaes and sciences, the best authors." But he expressly 
limits the first kind to comedy and tragedy, and says that "it 
doth not much belong at this time to our purpose." It is the 
second kind, not so much the representation of nature as the 
actual copying of the existing art of man, to which he devotes 
his whole attention, in which he obviously feels his whole 
interest. If he does not, like Vida, say, in so many words, 
"steal from" the ancients, he has, practically, nothing more 
to urge than "follow" them, and "borrow from" them. 
In some respects, and to some extent, he could, of course, 
have said nothing better. But, in respect of one point, and 
that the chief one which gives him a position in English 
criticism, his following was most corrupt. After the matter had 
long remained in some obscurity, it has been shown pretty 
exactly how the idea came about that English verse needed 
reforming on classical patterns. Chaucerian prosody, to 
some extent in the hands of Chaucer's own contemporaries 
like Lydgate and Occleve, but, still more, in those of his and 
their successors, had fallen into such utter disarray .that, in 
many cases, little but the rime ("and that's not much") 
remained to distinguish verse from prose. In Ascham's own 
day, the very worst of this tyranny was, indeed, past; and 
the apparent reorganising of pronunciation on the basis 

Ascham on "Versing" 333 

of dropping the value of the final -e, and other changes, had 
restored a certain order to verse. But the favourite "four- 
teener" (Ascham expressly smites "the rash ignorant heads 
that can easily reckon up [ourlccn syllables") was still, for 
the most part, a shambling, slovenly, sing-song, with nothing 
of the fire which Chapman afterwards infused into its unbroken 
form, or of the ineffable sweetness which the seventeenth 
century lyrists extracted from the divided couplet. On the 
other hand, the euphony of Greek and Latin metres was 
universally recognised. Why not imitate them also? The 
possibility and propriety of this imitation (recommended, no 
doubt, by the fact that, dangerous error though, on the whole, 
it was, it had more than a grain of truth at the bottom of it, 
as regards feet, though not as regards metres) seems to have 
arisen at Cambridge, likewise, and at St. John's College, but 
not with one of the three scholars just mentioned. The chief 
begetter of it appears to have been Thomas Watson, master 
of the college, afterwards bishop of Lincoln, and a man who 
did not succeed in playing the difficult game between papist 
and protestant with such success as Ascham and Wilson. 
Ascham himself has preserved with approval, the remarkably, 
but not extraordinarily, bad hexameters in which Watson 
puts into English the first two lines of the Odyssey, 

All travellers do gladly report great praise of Ulysses 
For that he knew many mens manners and saw many cities, 

and, in more places than one, he denounces "rude beggarly 
riming" not (as he might have done with some colour) in 
favour of the new blank verse actually started by Surrey long 
before he wrote, but in favour of classical "versing." From 
his time this became, with another less technical one, the main 
question of Elizabethan criticism, and we may despatch it 
before turning to the less technical question, and to others. 
We do not know exactly at what time Watson began to recom- 
mend and attempt English hexameters: but it must have been 
almost certainly before I554, when both he and Ascham left 
Cambridge. And it may have been any time earlier, as far 
back as I535, which seems to have been the first year that he, 
Ascham and Cheke (to whose conversations on this subject, 
and on others connected with it, Ascham often refers) were 

334 Elizabethan Criticism 

at the university together. It is more likely to have been late 
than early. .At any rate, the idea took root in St. John's 
and, somewhat later still (probably between 56 and i569), 
produced the celebrated and mysterious rules of Thomas 
Drant, another felloxv of the college. These rules I are re- 
peatedly referred to in the correspondence between Harvey 
and Spenser to be noticed presently, though Harvey, with his 
usual bluster, disclaims all knowledge of them. Ascham 
himself is really our earliest authority on the subject, and seems 
(from Nashe's references, for instance) to have been practi- 
cally recognised as such even then. 
To do him justice, however, his affection for "versing" 
appears to have been much more lukewarm than his dislike 
of rime. If, when he cites Watson's doggerel, he commits 
himself to the statement that "our English tongue may as well 
receive right quantity of syllables and true order of versifying 
as either Greek or Latin," he makes exceedingly damaging ad- 
missions afterwards, as that "our English tongue doth not well 
receive the nature of Carmen Hcroicltm because the dact3,lus 
the aptest foot for that verse, is seldom found," and that the 
said carmen "doth rather trot and hobble than run smoothly 
in English." He makes himself amends, however, by scolding 
rime with a curious pedantic pettishness; and by advancing 
the notable argument that, whosoever is angry with him for 
misliking rime may be angry with Quintilian for misliking 
it. This remark is, of course, of the highest value as showing 
how far from any true critical point of view a man, always 
a good scholar and, generally, a man of good sense, could 
find himself at this time. Nor is there less instruction in the 
other fact that, while he is aware of Surrey's blank verse, 
and though it discards his bugbear rime, he is not in the least 
satisfied with it, because it has not "true quantity." Now, 
as Surrey's blank verse, though not very free or flexible, is, 
as a rule, correct enough in accent-quantity, it is clear that 
Ascham was woolgathering after a system of "quantity by 
position," quantity, as opposed to accent, and the like, which 
never has been, and is never likely to be, established in English. 
This "true" quantity is, in fact, the key of the whole position, 
 Not now knowta to be extant, and nowhere stated with any precision 
by Spenser himself. 

Stanyhurst 335 

and the quest for it occupies all the acuter minds among the 
earlier disputants on the subject. Ascham, while hopeful, 
makes no serious effort to discover it, though his confession 
about Watson's hexameters and those of others amounts to 
a confession that it had not been discovered. Spenser and 
Harvey, in their correspondence, do not so much quarrel as 
amicably "wrangle," in the technical sense, over the difficulties 
of quantity by position. Can you possibly pronounce or, with- 
out pronouncing, value for prosodic purposes "carpenter" 
as "carp6-fiter"? May you, while retaining the short pro- 
nunciation, but availing yourself of the long accent of" mother" 
in its first syllable, make the short second syllable long before a 
consonant in the next word ? Although Spenser, in his letters, 
nowhere acknowledges the impossibility of these tricks xvith 
words, his entire abandonment of this kind of versing in his 
mature work speaks more eloquently than any formal abjura- 
tion. As for Harvey, the sort of boisterous pedantry with 
which he seems to think it proper to suffuse his writing makes it 
very difficult to judge how far he is serious. But the verse (of 
which, apparently, he thought well enough to repeat it three 
O blessed Virtue ! blessed Fame ! blessed Abundance ! 

is sufficient to show that he did believe in quantity by position, 
inasmuch as" blessed," in the first two cases, before consonants, 
becomes "blessed," and in the third, before a vowel, remains 
"blessed." But he is simply grotesque in many of his ex- 
amples;and it is difficult not to believe them caricatures or 
partly so, though it is true that Spenser himself, master of 
harmony as he was in the true measures, and a very serious 
person, is nearly as much a doggerelist as others in these 
false measures. 
Webbe, Puttenham and others to be mentioned presently 
engage in this questionBPuttenham slightly, Webbe with 
a blundering eagerness--and it continues to be discussed at 
intervals till it is fought out by Campion and Daniel. But 
the most intelligent and the most illuminative of the earlier 
remarks on it come from one of the wildest of the practitioners, 
Richard Stanyhurst. For his wildness lies not so much in 
his prosody, as in his diction, where he wilfully hampers him- 

336 Elizabethan Criticism 

self by making it his principle to use no word that had been 
used by his predecessor Phaer. As a critic of prosody, he 
is a curious mixture of sense and crotchet. He sees, and in- 
sists upon, the undoubted, and generally overlooked, truth 
that many important monosyllables in English, "me," "my," 
"the," "and," etc., are common: but he wishes to indicate 
the double pronunciation which, in effect, proves this, by 
spelling "mee" and "thee," in the latter case introducing a 
gratuitous confusion with the pronoun. He follows, as a rule, 
Latin quantity in English, thus making "honour" short, in 
spite of the accent, and "mother" (which he spells "moother") 
long, because of mater. He admits quantity by position, 
but, apparently, not in middle syllables; and, properly recog- 
nising the English tendency to carry back the accent, wants 
to make this uniform to the extent of "imperative" and 
"drthography." Lastly, he has a most singular system of 
deciding the quantity of final syllables, not by the last vowel, 
but by the last consonant, whereby he is driven to make 
endless exceptions, and a large number of "common" endings. 
In fact, the main value of Stanyhurst is that the prevalence 
of the common syllable in English is, really, at the bottom of 
all his theory. But the question could never be properly 
cleared up on these lines, and it remained in a state of theoreti- 
cal unsettlement, and of occasional tentative, but always un- 
successful, practice till it was settled in the way mentioned 
above, and to be described below. It is curious that Milton 
makes no reference to it in the afterthought outburst against 
rime which he subjoined to the later copies of Paradise Lost. 
It would have been extremely interesting to have heard his 
deliberate opinion, at any rate of Campion. 
The other main question, or, rather, group of questions, to 
which the criticism of what we have yet to speak of was de- 
voted, concerns the general character and status of poetry 
at large, or, at least, the general rules of certain important 
poetical kinds. These matters had been eagerly and constantly 
discussed abroad during the middle of the centurs.-, in fact 
during nearly the whole of its two inner quarters, when most of 
the authors mentioned in the present chapter began to write. 
There was even a considerable stock of Italian and Latin 
critical writing on the question, which was soon to be supple- 

338 Elizabethan Criticism 

Nor does he waste much time in generalities, though those 
which he has are well to the point, as in the remark "If I 
should undertake to write in praise of a gentlewoman, I womd 
neither praise her cI3-stal eye nor her cherry lip, etc. For these 
are trila et obvia." Nay, he even anticipates VVordsworth's 
heroic petitio principii by saying that invention "being found, 
pleasant words will follow well enough and fast enough." A 
brief caution against obscurity leads to an advice to keep 
just measure, "hold the same measure whelavith you begin," 
for the apparent obviousness of which he apologises, obselwing, 
with only too much reason, that it was constantly neglected. 
A further caution, equally obvious and equally necessary, 
follows, on keeping natural emphasis or sound, using every word 
as it is commonl.v pronounced or used--a caution which, it is 
hardly necessary to say, was needed even by such a poet as 
Wyatt, was not quite superfluous long after Gascoigne's time 
and would, if observed, have killed the classical "versing," 
which Gascoigne nowhere notices save by innuendo, in its cradle. 
But it is immediately after, and in connection with, this 
that the most interesting and important point in the whole 
treatise appears, in a statement which helps us to understand, 
if not to accept, an impression which evidently held its ground 
in English poetical theory for the best part of two centuries 
and more. It is that "commonly now a dayes in English 
rimes" (for, though he does not recommend "versing," he 
"dare not call them English verses") "we use none other order 
but a foot of two syllables, whereof the first is depressed or 
made short, and the second is elevate or made long," i.e. the 
iamb. "We have," he says, "used in times past other kinds 
of metres," quoting an anapaestic line; and he makes the very 
remarkable statement that "our father Chaucer hath used the 
same liberty in feet and measures that the Latinists do use." 
He, apparently, laments the limitation, but says we must "take 
the ford as we find it," and again insists that no word is to be 
wrested "from his natural and usual sound," illustrating his 
position. He deprecates the use of polysyllables as un- 
English and unpleasant; of rime without reason; of unusual 
words, save with" discretion," in order to" draw attentive read- 
ing"; of too great insecurity and too great facility; of unnatural 
inversion. But he allows that "shrewd fellow...poetical 

Gascoigne 339 

license." These things, though in most, but not all, cases right 
and sensible and quite novel from an English pen, are almost 
trivial. Not so his pronouncement on pauses--" rests " or 
"ceasures." He admits these to be "at discretion," especially 
in rime royal, but again exhibits the stream of tendency in the 
most invaluable manner, by prescribing, as best, the middle 
syllable in octosyllables and alexandrines, the fourth in decasyl- 
lables and the eighth in fourteeners. The term rime royal 
reminds him that he should explain it and other techni- 
calities, which he proceeds to do, including in his explana- 
tion the somewhat famous term "poulter's measure" for 
the couplet of alexandrine and fourteener popular in the 
mid-sixteenth centur3". And he had forgotten "a notable 
kind of ryme, called ryding ryme, such as our Mayster and 
Father Chaucer used in his Canterburie tales." It is, he thinks, 
most apt for a merry tale, rime royal for a grave discourse. 
And so, judiciously relegating "poulter's measure" by a 
kind of afterthought to psalms and h_vrrms, he ends the first, 
one of the shortest but, taking it altogether, one of the most 
sensible and soundest, of all tractates on prosody in English 
and one of our first documents in criticism generally. In- 
cidentally, it supplies us with some important historical 
facts as to language, such as that "treasure" vas not pro- 
nounced "treasflre," that to make a dissyllable of "Heaven" 
was a licence---Mitford, two centuries later, thought the mono- 
syllabic pronunciation vulgar and almost impossiblemand 
the like. 
It is very difficult to exaggerate the importance of the 
appearance in this work--the first prosodic treatise in English, 
and one written just on the eve of the great Elizabethan period 
---of the distinct admission, all the more distinct because of its 
obvious reluctance, that the iamb is the only foot in English 
serious rime, and of the preference for middle caesuras. As 
symptoms, these things show us the not unnatural recoil and 
reaction from the prosodic disorderliness of the fifteenth 
century and the earliest part of the sixteenth, just as Gas- 
eoigne's protests against wrenching accent show the sense of 
dissatisfaction even with the much improved rhythm of Wyatt 
and Surrey. But they also forecast, in the most noteworthy 
fashion, the whole tendency towards a closely restricted syllabic 

.34o Elizabethan Criticism 

and rhythmical uniformity which, after several breakings- 
away, resulted in the long supremacy of the stopped, centrally 
divided, decasyllabic couplet as the metre of metres, from which, 
or compared with which, all others were declensions and 
licences. The reader may be reminded that, even before 
Gascoigne, there are interesting, and not much noticed, 
evidences of the same revulsion from irregular metres in the 
prose inter-chapters of A Mirror ]or lagistrates. 
Gascoigne, however, had been purely prosodic; the current 
of Elizabethan criticism, increasing very largely in volume 
shortly after his time, took a different direction, except in so 
far as it still now and then dealt with the delusion of classical 
"versing." George Whetstone, in his dedication of Promos 
and Cassandra (i578), touched, briefly, on the disorderliness 
of the English stage, and its contempt alike of unity and proba- 
bility. But, immediately after this, a quarrel, half critical, 
half ethical, arose over the subject of drama and poetry 
generally, a quarrel which is the first thing of the kind in English 
literary history and which enriched English criticism with 
its first work of distinct literary importance for authorship, 
range and quality. The challenge of this quarrel was Stephen 
Gosson's famous School o[ Abuse (t579) with its appendix of 
pamphlets; the chief feat of arms in it was Sir Philip Sidney's 
Apologie or Poctrie or Dcece o Poesie (not printed till 595 
1,ut certainly written before 583). Gosson had dedicated 
his work to Sidney; and Sir Philip, showing a sense of literary 
manners which, unfortunately, has never been too common, 
abstains from replying directly to his dedicator, though his 
whole argument is destructive of Gosson's. Others were less 
scrupulous, and, indeed, had less reason for scruple; and 
Thomas Lodge, in a pamphlet the exact title of which is lost, 
takes up the cudgel in all but the full tone of Elizabethan 
"flyting." This reply, however, as well as Gosson's original 
attack and its sequels, has very little real literary criticism 
in it. Gosson, himself a plasma-right for some time, seems to 
have been suddenly convinced, probably by a conversion to 
puritanism, of the sinfulness of poetry generally, and the line 
of stricture which he takes is almost, wholly moral; while, not 
unnaturally, he is followed, for the most part, in this line, 
by Lodge who, however, indulges in a certain amount of rather 

Sidney 34 

confused comment and eulogium on the classics. In the time 
and circumstances it was certain that Sidney would, to some 
extent, do the same; his strain, however, is not only of a much 
higher mood but also of a much wider and a more varied. 
Beginning, with a touch of humour, on the tendency of 
everybody to extol his own vdcation, he plunges, almost at once, 
into the stock defence of poetry: from its age and the wonders 
ascribed to it of old; its connection with philosophy; the way 
in which Plato is poetical even in his onslaughts upon it; its 
time-honoured and world-spread vogue; the high and incom- 
parable titles of "poietes," "vales," "maker"; its command 
of every kind of subject, x'ying with nature in something like 
creation; its connection with Divinity itself. Then he sketches 
its kinds, and insists upon the poet's nobleness as against all 
competitors, setting him above both philosopher and historian. 
Examples of excellence for imitation, and of misdoing for 
avoidance, are given. The poet has all, "from Dante his 
heaven to his hell," under the authority of his pen. After much 
on this, he returns to the kinds---examining and dismissing 
objections to pastoral, ele and what not. At this point, 
he makes a sweep towards his special subject of drama, but 
touches it lightly and goes off to the heroic, whence, his pre- 
amble or exposition being finished, he comes to "poet-haters," 
the name, and even the person, of Gosson being carefully left 
in obscurity. He examines and dismisses once more the stock 
objections--waste of time, lying, encouragement of evil desires, 
etc. and, of course, sets the excellence of use against the 
possibility of abuse. And so, all generalities done (the famous 
commendation of Chevy Chace, "Percy and Douglas," has 
occurred long before), he shapes his concluding course towards 
English poetry, to find out why England has "grown so hard a 
stepmother" towards poets; why there is such a hard welcome 
for poetry here. And, at this point, both the most strictly 
genuine criticism and the most piquant oddity of the piece 
begin, though it would be very unfair to Sidney not to remember 
that he is writing just after The Shepheards Calender had ap- 
peared, in the mere overture of the great Elizabethan concert. 
"The very true cause," he thinks, "of our wanting esti- 
mation is wanting desert : taking upon us to be poets in despite 
of Pallas." Art, imitation and exercise, as well as mother- 

Elizabethan Criticism 

wit, are necessary for poetry, and English poets use neither 
art nor imitation rightly. Chaucer "did well but had great 
wants," a sentence which surprises the reader less when he finds 
that A Mirror ]or Magistrates is" meetly furnished of beautiful 
parts." The Shepheards Calender "hath much poetry, indeed 
worthy the reading." But Sidney "dare not allow" the 
framing of even his own familiar friend's language to a rustic 
style, "since neither Theocritus in Greeke,-Virgill in Latine, 
nor Sanazara in Italian, did affect it." Besides these (he had 
duly praised Surrey), he "remembers to have seen few printed 
that had poetical sinews in them" and, looking back from  580 
to i53o, as he is evidently doing, one cannot much wonder. 
Then he accumulates wrath on the infant drama--again, 
be it remembered, before Peele, before Lyly, before Marlowe, 
or just when their earliest work was appearing. But his 
wrath is bestowed upon it for the very things that were to 
make the greatness, not only of these three, but of Shakespeare 
and all the rest. Our tragedies and comedies observe rules 
"neither of honest civility nor of skilful poetry," excepting 
Gorboduc, which itself is not faultless. It is faulty in place and 
time: all the rest are faulty not only in these but in action. 
And then we have the often quoted passage satirising the 
"free" drama in all these respects, with a further censure of 
the mixture of the tragedy and comedy, and an aspiration 
after the limiting of comedy to Terentian-Plautine types and 
of tragedy to the "divine admiration" excited by the tragedies 
of Buchanan. "Our Songs and Sonnets are frigid," etc., etc. 
He insinuates, rather than definitely advances, a suggestion 
that English should use both riming and "versing." And 
he ends with a half-enthusiastic, half-satirical peroration on 
the "planet-like music" of poetry. 
The quaint perversity of all this, and the still quainter 
revenge which time took on it by making the next fifty years 
and more a flourishing time of English poetry in almost direct 
consequence of the neglect of Sidney's censures, is a common- 
place. It ought to be as much a commonplace to repeat the 
sufficient explanation of it--that he lacked the basis and 
sine qua non of all sound criticism, to wit, a sufficient quantity 
of precedent good poetry. But, of late, considerable interest 
has been taken in the question whether he got his principles 


from specific or general sources; and there has been a tendency 
to regard him as specially echoing not merely Scaliger but 
the Italian critic Minturno. There are, no doubt, coincidences 
with these two, and, especially, with Minturno; but it is the 
opinion of the present writer that Sidney was rather familiar 
with the general drift of Italian criticism than following any 
special authority. 
The Discourse of English Poetrie which William Webbe, a 
Cambridge graduate and private tutor in the house of an 
Essex squire, published in  586, is far below Sidney's in learning, 
in literary skill and, above all, in high sympathy with the 
poetic spirit. But Webbe is enthusiastic for poetry according 
to his lights; he has the advantage of writing later; and his 
dealings with his subject are considerably less "in the air." 
He even attempts a historical survey--the first thing that ought 
to have been done and the last that actuall.v was done--but 
deficiency of information and confusion of view are wofully 
evident in this. Gower is the first English poet that he has 
heard of; though he admits that Chaucer may have been equal 
in time. But it does not seem that he had read anything of 
Gower's, though that poet was easily accessible in print. He 
admires Chaucer, but in a rather suspiciously general way; 
thinks Lydgate "comparable with him for meetly good pro- 
portion of verse" and "supposes that Piers Ploughman was 
next." Of the supposed author of this poem, he makes 
the strange, but very informing, remark that he is "the first 
who observed the quantity of our verse without the curiosity 
of rhyme." He knows Skelton; does not, apparently, knoxv 
Wyatt; speaks again strangely of "the old earl of Surrey"; 
but, from Gascoigne onwards, seems fairly acquainted with 
the first Elizabethans, especially commending Phaer, Golding 
and Googe, and thinking Anthony Munday's work "very rare 
poetry" in giving "the sweet sobs of Shepherds," an estimate 
which has had much to do with the identification of Munday 
and "Shepherd Tony." But Webbe's judgment is too un- 
certain to be much relied on. 
Still, it must be to his eternal honour that he admires 
Spenser, lavishly and ungrudgingly, while not certain that 
the author of The Shepleards Calender is Spenser. He is 
deeply bitten with the mania for "versing"; and a great part 

"The Arte of English Poesie" 345 

in a fashion which raises suspicions. Still, that "Piers Plow- 
man's verse is but loose metre" is a distinct improvement. 
Contemporaries, vith the inclusion of "the Queene our Sover- 
eign Lady," who, of course, "easily surmounteth all the rest," 
are judged not unhappily--Sidney and "that other gentleman 
who wrote the late Shepherds Caleudar" being praised for 
eclogue and pastoral; Ralegh's verse receiving the memorable 
phrase "most lofty, insolent and passionate," xvhile the attri- 
bution of "sweet solemn and high conceit" to Dyer, of "a 
good metre and a plentiful vein" to Gascoigne and of "learned 
and well corrected" verse to Phaer and Golding, is, in none 
of these instances, unhappy. And the distinct recognition 
of Surrey and Wyatt as "the two chief lanterns of light to all 
others that have since employed their pens in English poesy" 
deserves the highest praise. It is, in fact, except the tra- 
ditional and parrot-like encomia on Chaucer, the first ]alon--the 
first clear and firm staking out of English poetical history. 
Puttenham, however, is chiefly busy, as his title justified him 
in being, with the most strictly formal side of poetry--with 
its art. He will not allow feet, for a reason which, at any 
rate in his own statement of it, is far from clear, but seems 
to have a confused idea that individual English words are sel- 
dom complete feet of any kind, and that we have too many 
monosyllables. But he is exact in the enumeration of "mea- 
sures" by syllables, and of "staffs" by lines, pushing his care, 
in this respect, so far as to give careful diagrams of the syllabic 
outline, and the rime-connection of these latter. In fact, 
Puttenham is nothing if not diagrammatic; and his leaning in 
this direction makes him very complacent towards the purely 
artificial forms--eggs, altars, lozenges, rhombi--which were to 
be the object of much ridicule. He is also copious (though 
he regards it with lukexvarm approval) on classical" versifying" ; 
and, in fact, spares no pains to make his work a manual of 
practical directions for manufacturers of verse. These direc- 
tions occupy the whole of his second book--"of proportion" 
as he calls it. The third--"of ornament"--is almost wholly 
occupied by the elaborate list of figures above referred to. 
His fourth, "of Poets and Poesy," contains the history also 
mentioned, and a good deal of stock matter as to the kinds of 
poetry, its ethical position and purport, an enquiry into the 

346 Elizabethan Criticism 

origin and history of rime (much less prejudiced and much 
better informed than the strictures of the "versers ") and 
several other things. Puttenham, it is clear, is, to some extent, 
hampered and led astray by the common form and common- 
place of the school rhetorics which he is trying to adjust 
to English poetic; and he has the enormous disadvantage of 
writing tventy years too soon. If his Arle o Poesie could 
have been informed by the spirit, and enriched by the ex- 
perience, of Daniel's Dcfence of Ryme, or if Daniel had cared 
to extend and particularise this latter in the manner, though 
not quite on the principles, of Puttenham, we should possess 
a book on English prosody such as we do not yet possess and 
perhaps never shall. As it is, there is a great deal of "dead 
wood" in the Arte. But it is none the less a document of the 
highest value and interest historically, as showing the serious- 
ness with which the formal and theoretical side of poetry 
was, at last and after almost utter neglect, being taken in 
England. It may owe something to Sidney--Gregory Smith 
has well observed that all these critical writers, long before 
Sidney's tract was published, evidently knew it in MS. But 
by far the greater part of it is devoted to exactly the matters 
that Sidney did not touch. 
Sir John Harington, in that preface to his Ariosto which he 
rightly calls, rather, a brief apology of poetry and of the 
author and translator, refers directly to Sidney and, indeed, 
travels over much the same ground in the general part of his 
paper; but he acquires independent interest when he comes 
to deal with his special subject. Indeed, one may, perhaps, 
say that his is the first "critical introduction" in English, 
if we except "E. K.'s" to the Calender. It is interesting to find 
him at once striking out for the rope which, down to Addison, 
if not still later, the critic who felt himself out of his depth 
in pure appreciation always tried to seize--the tracing of re- 
semblances in his author to the ancients, in this case to Vergil. 
One might, indeed, be inclined to think that, except in point of 
adventure, no two poets could possibly be more unlike than the 
author of the Aeneid and the author of Orlando. But Sir 
John does not consider so curiously. There is arma in the first 
line of the one and arme in the first line of the other; one ends 
with the death of Turnus and the other with that of Rodomont; 

Harington and Others 347 

there is glorification of the Julian house in one and glori- 
fication of the house of Este in the other. In fact, "there 
is nothing of any special observation in Vergil but my author 
hath with great felicity imitated it." Now, if you imitate 
Vergil, you must be right. Did not "that excellent Italian 
poet, Dant" profess that, when he wandered out of the right 
way, Vergil reclaimed him ? Moreover, Ariosto "hath followed 
Aristotle's rules very strictly" and, though this assertion may 
almost take the reader's breath away, Harington manages to 
show some case for it in the same Fluellinian fashion of argu- 
ment which has just been set forth in relation to Vergil. 
Nor ought we to regard this with any contempt. Defensible, 
or indefensible, it was the method of criticism which vas to 
be preferred for the greater part of at least two centuries. .And 
Harington has a few remarks of interest in regard to his own 
metre, rime, and such matters. 
The illiberal, and, to some tastes, at any rate, rather weari- 
some, "flyting" between Harvey and Nashe over the dead 
body of Greene necessarily contains a large number of passages 
which are critical after a fashion--indeed, the names of most 
writers of the strictly Elizabethan period will be found with 
critical epithets or phrases attached to them. But the whole 
is so thoroughly subdued to the general tone of wrangling that 
any pure critical spirit is, necessarily, absent. Nashe, vith his 
usual faculty of hard hitting, says to his foe, "You will never 
leave your old tricks of drawing Master Spenser into every 
piebald thing you do." But the fact is that both merely use 
other men of letters as offensive or defensive weapons for 
their own purposes. 
A few, but only a few, fragments of criticism strictly or 
approximately Elizabethan may now be noticed. These are 
The Excellency of the English Tongue by Richard Carew ( 595- 
6 ?), a piece in which patriotism reinforces itself with a good 
amount of knowledge; the critical prefatory matter of Chap- 
man's Iliad (or, rather, its first instalments in 598), which 
contains a vigorous onslaught on Scaliger for his "soulblind 
impalsied diminuation" of Homer; Drayton's interesting pro- 
sodic note (6o3) on his own change of metre, etc., when he 
rehandled Mortimeriados into The Barons Wars (his still more 
interesting verse epistle to Reynolds is much later) ; .Ieres's 

Campion. Daniel 349 

dimeter or English march" which, in strict classical termin- 
ology, is an iambic (or trochaic) monometer hypercatalectic, 1 
the English trochaic, a trochaic decasyllable, 2 the English 
elegiac, an eccentric and not very harmonious combination 
of an ordinary iambic decasyllable and of two of his" dimeters" 
run together, 3 the English sapphic, 4 a shortened form of this, s 
a peculiar quintet 6 and the English anacreontic. 7 
He ends with an attempt, as arbitrary and as unsuccessful 
as Stanyhurst's, to determine the quantity of English syllables 
on a general system: e.g. the last syllables of plurals, with two 
or more voxvels before the s, are long, etc. 
The De]ence o] Ryme with which Daniel replied is, time 
and circumstance being duly allowed for, one of the most 
admirable things of its kind in English literature. It is per- 
fectly polite--a merit not too common in criticism at any 
time and particularly rare in the sixteenth and the seventeenth 
centuries. Indeed, Daniel, though it would not appear that 
there was personal acquaintance between him and Campion, 
has the combined good taste and good sense (for it is a powerful 
argument on his own side) to compliment his adversary on his 
own success with rime. His erudition is not impeccable; 
but it is sufficient. He devotes some, but not much, attention 
to the "eight kinds of verses," making the perfectly true, 
and very damaging, observation that they are all perfectly 

Raving war, begot 
In the thirsty sands. 
 Kate can only fancy beardless husbands. 
 Constant to none but ever false to me, 
Traitor still to love through thy faint desires. 
* Faith's pure shield, the Christian Diana, 
England's glory crowned with all divineness, 
Live long with triumphs to bless thy people 
At thy sight triumphing. 
 Rose-cheeked Laura, come. 
Sing thou smoothly with thy beauty's 
Silent music, either other 
Sweetly gracing. 
Just beguiler, 
Kindest love yet only chastest, 
Royal in thy smooth denials. 
Frowning or demurely smiling 
Still my pure delight. 
Follow, follow 
Though with mischief. 

3so Elizabethan Criticism 

consonant with the admitted practice of English poetry, and 
that they wantonly divest themselves of the additional charm 
that they might derive from the rime usual in it. But, with 
true critical sense, he sticks in the main to the chief point-- 
the unreason of the objection to rime, and the futility of the 
arguments or no-arguments by which it had been supported. 
"Our understandings are not all to be built by the square of 
Greece and Italy." "Ill customs are to be left," but what have 
we save bare assertion to prove that rime is an ill custom? 
Let the ancients have done well without it; is that any reason 
why we should be [orbidden to do well with it ? Let us" tend to 
perfection" by "going on in the course we are in." He admits 
blank verse freely in drama and allows, not less freely, that 
rime may be abused. But he will defend the "sacred monu- 
ments of English," the "best power of our speech, that wherein 
so many honourable spirits have sacrificed to Memory their 
dearest passions," the "kind and natural attire of Rhyme," 
which "adds more grace and hath more delight than ever bare 
numbers can yield." And so, with no bombast or slop of 
rhetoric, but with that quiet enthusiasm which is the inspiration 
of his own best poetry, and that simple propriety of style 
which distinguishes him both in poetry and prose, Daniel 
lays down, almost or quite for the first time in English, the 
great principle that "the Dorians may speak Doric," that 
each language and each literature is entitled to its own ways 
and its own fashions. It is curious enough that Ascham, 
who, long before, had begun by the sturdy determination to 
write English matters in the English tongue for Englishmen, 
should, also, have been the first to be false to this principle 
in the prosodic direction. Daniel, two generations after Toxo- 
philus, establishes the principle in this department also. 
The critical work of two of the greatest of Elizabethans, 
Bacon and Ben Jonson, falls, both logically and chronologic- 
ally, into other chapters, and represents, wholly in Bacon's case, 
almost wholly in Johnson's, a different and more advanced 
stage of criticism. Yet something of what we are about to say 
applies to them also, and it may be of hardly less use as a 
preliminary to the study of them than as a summary and 
criticism of the positive results which have been presented 
in historical survey by the foregoing pages. 

Summary 353 

Daniel striking into and striking out in the full stream of 
truth. "We shall best tend to perfection by going on in the 
course we are in." Tu co,ira audentior ito ! 
Yet, at the same time, the critical literature of the period, 
not less distinctly avoids the mistake, too well known else- 
where, of neglecting the comparative study of other languages 
and literatures, ancient as well as modern. Indeed, half the 
mistakes that it does make may be said to come from over- 
doing this comparison. At the particular stage, however, this 
mattered very little. It was, undoubtedly, up to this period, 
a defect of English that, though constantly translating and 
imitating, it had translated and imitated, if not quite unin- 
telligently, yet with no conscious and critical intelligence-- 
in a blind and instinctive sort of way. This is noxv altered. 
Sidney's not daring to allow Spenser's "framing of his style 
to an olde rusticke language...since neither Theocritus... 
Virgill...nor Sanazara...did affect it," is, indeed, altogether 
wrong. It is wrong, as a matter of fact, to some extent, as re- 
gards Theocritus; it is inconsistent as ranking a mere modern 
like Sannazaro, of certainly no more authority than Spenser 
himself, with Theocritus and Vergil ; and it is a pctitio principii 
in its assumption that Greeks, or Latins, or Italians, can serve 
as prohibitory precedents--as forbidders, merely by the fact 
of not having done a thing--to Englishmen. But the process 
is literary and critical, if the procedure and application 
are erroneous. English, so to speak, is, at least, "entered" 
in the general academy of literatures; it submits itself to 
competition and to co-examination; it is no longer content to 
go on--not, indeed, as Ascham vainly says, "in a foul wrong 
way" but--in an uncultivated and thoughtless way. It is 
taking stock and making audit of itself, investigating what 
has been done and prospecting for what is to be done. Nor 
should it be forgotten that there is such work as Mulcaster's, 
which, though not strictly literary criticism, is linguistic and 
scholastic criticism of no unliterary kind. Mulcaster,' in 
his Positimzs and Eleme,dary, following Thynne and others, 
almost founds the examination of the language itself; as does 
that part of Ascham's Scholemastcr which has hitherto been 
passed over and which concerns the teaching of the classical 
' See also Chap. xtx. 
VOL. III--23 


Chroniclers and Antiquaries 

HE chroniclers and antiquaries of the Tudor period, 
various as they were in style and talent, shared the 
same sentiment, the same ambition. There breathed 
in each one of them the spirit of nationality. They recognised 
that the most brilliant discovery of a brilliant age was the 
discovery of their on countr3". With a full voice and a fervent 
heart they sang the praise of England. They celebrated with 
what eloquence they possessed her gracious climate, her fruitful 
soil, her brave men and her beautiful women. Both by precept 
and by example they did honour to their native tongue. "Our 
English tongue," said Camden, "is as fluent as the Latin, as 
courteous as the Spanish, as Court-like as the French, and as 
amorous as the Italian." Camden praised by precept alone, 
and composed all his works, save one, in Latin. The other 
chroniclers, discarding Latin and writing in their own English, 
paid the language a far higher tribute--the tribute of example. 
All agreed with Plutarch that "a part of the Elisian Fields 
is to be found in Britain." And, as they regarded these fair 
fields with enthusiasm, so they looked back with pride upon 
Britain's legendary history and the exploits of her kings. 
Steadfast in observation, tireless in panegyric, they thought 
no toil, no paean, outran the desert of England. Topographers, 
such as Camden and Leland, travelled the lenh and breadth 
of England, marking highroad, village and township, collecting 
antiquities, copying inscriptions and painting with what 
fidelity they might the face of the country. The ingenuity o[ 
Norden and Speed designed the maps which have acquired 
with time an unexpected value and importance. The popular 
historians, gentle and simple, gathered the truth and falsehood 

The Point of View 357 

of the past with indiscriminate hand, content if they might 
restore to the world the forgotten splendour of England, 
and add a new lustre to England's ancient fame. 
Their good will and patriotism were limited only by their 
talent. Zealous in intention, they were not always equal to 
the task they set themselves. The most of them had but a 
vague sense of history. They were as little able to sift and 
weigh evidence as to discern the true sequence and meaning 
of events. Fexv of them were even dimly interested in the 
conflict of policies or in the science of government. What 
they best understood were the plain facts of battle and death, 
of plague and famine, of sudden comets and strange monsters. 
The most of their works are the anecdotage of history, and 
not to be wholly despised on that account, since an anecdote 
false in itself is often the symbol of the truth, and since, in 
defiance of research, it is from the anecdotes of the Tudor 
chroniclers that we derive our knowledge of English history. 
For that which had been said by others they professed an 
exaggerated respect. They accepted the bare word of their 
predecessors with a touching credulity. In patient sub- 
mission and without criticism they followed the same author- 
ities. There is no chronicler that did not use such poor light 
as Matthew Paris and Roger Hoveden, Geoffrey of Monmouth 
and Gildas, Giraldus Cambrensis and Polydore Vergil could 
afford. Each one of them borrowed his description of Agin- 
court from Titus Livius, and, with a wisdom which deser-es 
the highest applause, they all adapted to their purpose the 
account of Richard III's reign attributed to Sir Thomas More. 
With one or two exceptions, then, the Chrozicles are not so 
much separate works as variations of the same legend. Their 
authors pillaged from one another with a light heart and 
an unsparing hand, and, at times, did what they could to 
belittle their robberies by abusing the victims. 
If their sense of history was small, small also was their 
tact of selection. They looked upon the world with the eye 
of the modern reporter. They were hot upon the discovery 
of strange "stories." They loved freaks of nature and were 
never so happy as when a new star flashed into their ken. 
Their works, indeed, hold a place midway between history 
and what we should now call journalism. Stow, for instance, 

ass Chroniclers and Antiquaries 

tells us that, in i5o 5, on "S. Thomas Day at night, afore 
Christmas was a bakers house in Warwike Lane brent, 
with the Mistres of the House, ii women servants, and iii 
others"; and he brings his Chronicle to an end, not upon the 
praise of England or of queen Elizabeth but upon a mon- 
strous birth. "The xvII day of June last past," he writes, 
in the year 158o, "in the parish of Blamsdon, in Yorkshire, 
after a great tempest of lightning and thunder, a woman 
of route score years old named Ales Perin, was delivered of a 
straunge and hideous Monster, whose heade was like unto a 
sallet or heade-peece .... Which Monster," adds Stow, devoutly, 
"brought into the world no other news, but an admiration of 
the devine works of God." Not even Camden, scholar though 
he was, rose always superior to the prevailing habit of gossip. 
"I know not," he writes, under the year 1572, "whether it 
be materiall or no, here to make mention, as all the Historio- 
graphers of our time have done, how in the moneth of Novem- 
ber was scene a strange starve." And, presently, he interrupts 
his account of a mission to Russia, in 1583, with this comment 
upon Sir Hierome Bowes, the ambassador" 

Hee was the first that brought into England, where the like 
was never scene (if an Historian may with good leave make men- 
tion of so small a thing) a beast called MacEs, which is a creature 
likest to an A19e, very swift, and without joynts. 

Camden at least apologised for his amiable irrelevancy, and it 
is not for modern readers to regret a practice which has pre- 
served for them the foolish trivial excitements of the moment. 
But it is a truth not without significance that the chroniclers, 
who might have kept before their eyes the example of the 
classics, and who might have studied the two masters of 
what was then modern history--Macchiavelli and Commines-- 
should have preferred to follow in the footsteps of the medieval 
gossips and of the ambling Fabyan. And, as they thought no 
facts too light to be recorded, so they considered no age too dark 
for their investigation. They penetrated, with a simple faith, 
"the backward and abysm of time." The most of them 
begin their histories with Brute, who, they say, was born 1 lO8 
B.C., and thus prove that, for all their large interests and their 


Chroniclers and Antiquaries 

what manner of man he was. His patriotism equalled his 
loyal worship of king Henry viii, the greatest monarch, in 
Hall's eyes, who had sat upon the English throne. The re- 
formation had his full sympathy, and he looked upon the see of 
Rome with protestant suspicion. When the king was pro- 
claimed supreme head of the church, Hall's enthusiasm was 
unbounded. Hereafter, he says, "the Pope with all his college 
of Cardinalles with all their Pardons and Indulgences was 
utterly abolished out of this realme. God be everlastyngly 
praysed therefore." And, if he was a patriotic Englishman 
first, he was, in the second place, a proud and faithful Lon- 
doner. He championed the interests of his fellow-citizens with 
a watchful eloquence. When, in I53, the fields about Isling- 
ton, Hoxton and Shoreditch were enclosed by hedges and 
ditches, that youth might not shoot nor old age walk abroad 
for its pleasure, Hall triumphantly records that a mob of 
citizens, armed with shovels and spades, levelled the hedges 
and filled the ditches with so diligent a speed that the mayor 
bowed in submission, and that the hateful restraints were 
never afterwards set in the way of young or old. He was, 
moreover, the first to raise the cry of "London for the Lon- 
doners." He hated the alien wittl a constant heart, and 
in the many quarrels which arose between the citizens and 
the French artificers, Hall was always on the side of the citi- 
zens. And it was this feeling for London which intensified 
Hall's dislike of the proud cardinal. A student rather of the 
world than of politics, he could not appreciate at their proper 
worth the grandeur o[ Wolsey's schemes. He knew only that 
Wolsey was extortionate, that, whenever he was in need of 
money, he came to the city, and he echoed the cry of the alder- 
men: "For Goddes sake, remembre this, that fiche merchauntes 
in ware be bare of money." 
It has been thrown at Hall for a reproach by some of 
his critics that he was too keenly interested in the pomp 
of the court, in the shows and sights of the streets. One of 
his editors has gone so far in misunderstanding as to expunge 
or curtail many of his characteristic descriptions. This 
perversity seems the stranger, because a love of display was 
in Hall's blood. He lived in an age, and a city, of pageants. 
King and cardinal vied with one another in splendour and 

Edward Hall 3 6 r 

ingenuity. They found a daily excuse for some piece of 
well-ordered magnificence. May Day, Christmas and Twelfth 
Night each had its appointed festival. The king and his 
friends lived in a perpetual masquerade, and Hall found the 
right words for their every extravagance. No writer ever 
employed a more variously coloured vocabulary. Turn 
his pages where you will, and you will find brave pictures of 
banquets and disguises. And his style rises with the occasion. 
The Field of the Cloth of Gold inspires his masterpiece. The 
pages dedicated to this royal meeting-place are brilliant xvith 
jewels and the precious metals. Gold and the cloth of gold, 
tissue and hangings of cramosyn, sackbuts and clarions flash 
and re-echo like the refrain of a ballade, and ever3vhere 
"Bacchus bids the wine," which "by the conduyctes in therth 
ranne, to all people plentiously with red, xvhite, and claret. 
wyne, over whose hedde was writen in letters of Romayn in 
gold, faicte bonne chore quy vo2ddra." 
I have said that Hall's Chronicle is made up of two separate 
works. With a wise sense of propriety he employs two separate 
styles. If this distinction be not made, it is not easy to ad- 
mit the justice of Ascham's famous criticism. Now, Ascham, 
in urging the use of epitomes, illustrates his argument thus 
from Hall's Chronicle: 

As if a wise man would take Halles Cronicle, where moch good 
matter is quite marde with Indenture Englishe, and first change 
strange and inkhorne tearrnes into proper, and commonlie used 
wordes: next, specially to wede out that, that is superfluous and 
idle, not onelie where wordes be vainlie heaped one upon another, 
but also where many sentences, of one meaning, be so clowted up 
together, as though M. Hall had bene, not writing the storie of 
England, but varying a sentence in Hitching schole. 
The censure implied in this passage is amply justified by the 
first part of Hall's Chronicle. Where he is adapting the words 
of other writers, he does not check his love of "Indenture 
Englishe "; he exults in" inkhorne tearmes "; and he "clo-tes" 
up his sentences with superfluous variations. But no sooner 
does he describe what he sees, no sooner do his brain and hand 
respond to his eye, than he forgets the lessons of "Hitching 
schole," and writes with a direct simplicity which in no sense 

362 Chroniclers and Antiquaries 

deserves the reproach of Ascham. Though it is true that the 
simplicity of his time vas not the simplicity of ours, Hall 
employs with excellent effect the words of familiar discourse, 
and records that of which he was an eye witness with an 
intimate sincerity, which separates him, on the one hand, 
from journeymen like Stow, and, on the other, from scholars 
like Camden and Hay-ward, whose ambition it was to give a 
classic shape and form to their prose. 
Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles o England, Scotland and 
Irdand are wider in scope and more ambitious in design than 
the xvork of Hall. Though they are not more keenly critical, 
they are, at least, more widely comprehensive than any of 
their rivals. They begin with Noah and the Flood, and the 
history of the British Isles descends well-nigh to the day of 
publication. And, if Richard Stanyhurst may speak for 
them all, the industrious compilers took a lofty view of their 
craft. "The learned," says Stanyhurst, 

have adjudged an historie to be the marrow of reason, the cream 
of sapience, the sap of wisdorne, the pith of judgment, the librarie 
of knowledge, the kernell of policie, the unfoldresse of treacherie, 
the kalendar of time, the lanterne of truth, the life of mernorie, 
the doctresse of behaviour, the register of antiquitie, the trurnpet 
of chivalrie. 

If Holinshed's history were all these, it is not surprising that it 
was fashioned by many hands, and in nothing did the editor 
prove his wisdom more clearly than in the selection of his 
staff. Of Holinshed himself little is recorded. He came of a 
Cheshire family, and is said by Anthony k Wood to have been 
educated at Cambridge and to have been "a minister of God's 
word." All that is certain is that he took service with Wolfe, 
the publisher, to vhom, says he, he was" singularly beholden," 
and under whose auspices he planned the Chronicles which 
bear his name. The death of Wolfe, in 573, was no inter- 
ruption to the work, and in x578 appeared the first edition, 
dedicated, in the familiar terms of adulation, to Sir William 
Cecil, baron of Burghley. Each portion of the Chronicles 
is assigned to its author with peculiar care. The Description 
o] England is William Harrison's. It is Holinshed himself 
who compiled the Historie o Englaut from the accustomed 

366 Chroniclers and Antiquaries 

usuallie to be had." An untravelled man, he wrote often of 
what he knew only by hearsay. "Untill howe of late," he 
confesses to Sir W. Brooke, 

except it were from the parish where I dwell, unto your Honour in 
Kent; or out of London where I was borne, unto Oxford and Cam- 
bridge where I have bene brought up, I never travelled 40 miles 
foorthright and at one journey in all my life. 
And not only was he something of a recluse, but he wrote his 
Description when his books and he "were parted by fourtie 
miles in sunder." Nevertheless, he managed to consult the 
best authorities. He was one of the unnumbered scholars 
who oved a debt to Leland's famous notes. Stow and Camden 
were of his friends, and, doubtless, lent him their aid, and he 
acknowledges a debt to "letters and pamphlets, from sundrie 
places and shires of England." Yet, if we leave his first 
book out of our count, he was far less beholden than the most 
f his contemporaries. He had the skill of making the facts 
of others his own. And as the substance, so the style, of the 
book belongs to him. Though he proffers the same apology 
as Holinshed, he proffers it with far less excuse. He protests 
that he never made any choice of words, "thinking it sufficient 
truelie and plainlie to set foorth such things as I minded to 
treat of, rather than with vaine affectation of eloquence to 
paint out a rotten sepulchre." And then straightway he 
belies himself by describing his book as "this foule frizeled 
Treatise of mine," which single phrase is enough to prove 
his keen interest, and lively habit, in the use of words. 
In love of country he yielded to no man of his age. Herein, 
also, he was a true Elizabethan. The situation of the island, 
its soil, its husbandry ("my time fellows can reape at this 
present great commoditie in a little roome"), the profusion 
of its hops, "which industrie God continue," the stature of 
its men, the comeliness of its women--all these he celebrates 
in his dithyrambic prose. He is one of the first to exalt the 
English navy. "Certes," says he, "there is no prince in 
Europe that hath a more beautifull and gallant sort of ships 
than the queenes majestie of England at this present." And, 
like many other patriots, he fears the encroachment of softer 
manners and of growing luxury. Comfort he holds the foe 

Harrison's " Description of England" 361 

of hardihood. The times, in his viev, were not what they 
were. When, indeed, have they been ? He contemplates the 
comely houses and the splendid palaces which made a paradise 
of Tudor England with a kind of regret. He sadly (and un- 
reasonably) recalls the past, when men's houses were builded 
of willow, plum, hornbeam and elm, when oak was dedicated 
to churches, palaces and navigation. "And yet see the 
change," says he, in a characteristic passage, 
for when our houses were builded of willow, then had we oken 
men; but now that our houses are come to be made of oke, our men 
are not onlie become willow, but a great manie, through Persian 
delicacie crept in among us, altogither of straw, which is a sore 
Harrison's lament was ill-founded. In less than a score of 
years, the men of willow, or of straw, defended their oaken 
ships with oaken hearts against the armada. 
Withal, Harrison was of an ingenious mind and simple 
character. When he had wandered, in fancy, the length and 
breadth of England, he wrote down in all gravity the four 
marvels of his country. .And they were: a strong wind, which 
issueth out of the hills called the Peak; Stonehenge; Cheddar 
Hole; and "Westward upon certeine hilles"--this may be 
cited only in his own words--"a man shall see the clouds gather 
togither in faire weather unto a certeine thicknesse, and by 
and by to spread themselves abroad and water their fields 
about them, as it were upon the sudden." These wonders 
surprise by their simplicity. Simple, also, are Harrison's 
wishes, yet all save one are still ungratified. "I could wish," 
he wrote, 
that I might live no longer than to see foure things ir this land 
reformed, that is: () the want of discipline in the church: (2) 
the covetous dealing of most of our merchants in the preferment of 
the commodities of other countries, and hinderence of their own: 
(3) the holding of faires and markets upon the sundaie to be 
abolished, and referred to the wednesdaies: (4) and that everie 
man, in whatsoever part of the champaine soile enjoieth fortie acres 
of land and upwards, after that rote, either by free deed, copie 
hold, or fee farme, might plant one acre of wood, or sow the same 
with oke mast, hasell, beech and sufficient provision be made that it 
may be cherished and kept. 

368 Chroniclers and Antiquaries 

Thus, in his wishes as in his life, Harrison was a wise patriot. 
He sought nothing else than a knowledge of his country, and 
her advantage. A scholar and a man of letters, he was master 
of a style from wh3ch the wind of heaven has blown the last 
grain of pedantry. Best of all, he painted an intimate por- 
trait of himself, in painting also the truest picture that has 
come down to us of the England that Shakespeare knew and 
John Stow and John Speed were chroniclers of a like 
fashion and a like ambition. They were good citizens, as 
well as sound antiquaries, and, by a strange chance, they fol- 
lowed the same craft. "We are beholding to Mr. Speed and 
Stow," writes Aubrey, echoing Sir Henry Spelman, "for 
stitching up for us our English history. It seems they were 
both tailors--quod N.B." And if Speed found a pleasanter 
employ, a tailor Stow remained unto the end of his days. One 
in their pursuits, they were one, also, in disinterestedness. 
The love of England and of letters brought neither of them 
any profit. Stov "made no gain by his travail," and died 
poor. With a sor of pathos, he pleads that men who "have 
brought hidden Histories from duskie darkness to the sight 
of the world" deselx, e thanks for their pains, and should not be 
misrepresented. "I v-rite not this," says he, "to complain 
of some men's ingratitude towards me (although justly I 
might)." There is the pith of the matter enclosed within 
parentheses, and Stow, may be, was thinking of Grafton's 
reckless animadversion on "the memories of superstitious 
foundacions, fables and lyes foolishly stowed together." 
Speed lags not behind in reproach of the world, and felicitation 
of himself. He describes his work as "this large Edifice of 
Great Britain's Theatre," and likens himself to the sillvorrn, 
that ends her life in her long-wrought clue. "So I in this 
Theatre have built my owne grave," he writes; "whose Archi- 
tecture howsoever defective it may be said to be, yet the pro- 
ject is good, and the cost great, though my selfe have freely 
bestowed this paines to the Presse, without pressing a penny 
from any man's purse." Yet neither the one nor the other 
complained justly of neglect. Stow won all the honour, both 
in his lifetime and after, which belongs to the lettered citizen. 
He grew into a superstition of homely wit and genial humour. 

John Stow 369 

Henry Holland, Philemon's son, calls him "the merry old 
man," and Fuller celebrates his virtues as Stow himself would 
have them celebrated. He admits that he reported toys and 
trifles, res in se minutas, that he was a smell-feast, who could 
not pass by Guildhall without giving his pen a taste of the 
good cheer, and he excuses this on the ground that "it is hard 
for a citizen to write history, but that the fire of his gun may 
be felt therein." So much may be truly said in dispraise. 
For the rest, Fuller has nothing but applause. He declares 
that our most elegant historians have thrown away the basket 
and taken the fruit-even Sir Francis Bacon and Master Cam- 
den. And "let me add of John Stow," he concludes, "that 
(however he kept tune) he kept time very well, no author 
being more accurate in the notation thereof." And Speed, 
even if he pressed no penny from any man's purse, did not ask 
the aid of any scholar in vain. Sir Robert Cotton opened his 
library and his collections to the chronicler's eve. Master 
John Barkham gave such help as he alone could give, while 
Master William Smith, Rouge Dragon, was ever at hand to 
solve the problems of heraldry. Surely no citizen ever found 
better encouragement, especially in the telling of a thrice-told 
Stow was the more industrious of the two. In i56i, he 
published an edition of Chaucer's works. Four years later 
came his Sum,mrie o] Englyshe Chronicles, and then, in i58o, 
he dedicated to Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester, a far better 
book, The Chroticles o] Englaut ]rom Brute until this present 
yeare o[ Christ I58O. His purpose it is to celebrate "the 
worthie exploits of our Kings and governors," and of that 
purpose he takes a lofty view. He regards himself not only as 
a historian, but as an inculcator of sound morals. "It is as 
hard a matter," he says in pride, 

for the Recorder of Chronicles, in my fansie, to passe without some 
eolours of wisedome, invitements to vertue, and loathing of naughtie 
factes, as it is for a weffavoured man to walk up and downe in the 
hot parching Sunne, and not to be therewith sunburned. 

His knowledge is not often better than that of his predeces- 
sors. He believes in the same fairy-tales; he accepts without 
question the same rumours. But, in one respect, he differs 

William Camden 3 7 r 

in design alone, the work is a genuine piece of modern history, 
in which events are set in a proper perspective, and a wise 
proportion is kept of great and small. Its faults are the faults 
inherent in the chronicle: no sure plan of selection, a rigid 
division into years, an interspersion of the text with docu- 

ments. Its virtues are its own: clearness of expression, 
catholicity of interest, a proud consciousness of the great 
events, whereof Camden was at once the partaker and the 

He declares in his preface that William Cecil, baron Burgh- 
ley, "opened unto him first some memorials of state of his 
own," and that afterwards he 

sought all manner of help on every side...for most of which (as 
I ought) I hold myself chiefly bound to Sir R. Cotton, who with 
great expense and happy labour hath gathered most choice variety 
of Histories and antiquity; for at his torch he willingly suffered me 
to light my taper. 

He learned much, also, by his own observation and by converse 
with those who had played their part in affairs, and, heedless of 
himself, he made no sacrifice save to truth. Nor does he 
vaunt his achievement in any lofty terms. He will be content, 
he says, with professional modesty, to be "ranked amongst 
the lowest writers of great things." He would have been placed 
far higher in the general esteem, if he had not, by an unhappy 
accident, composed his book in Latin. This misfortune, the 
greater because he was one of the last to inflict so grave an 
injustice upon himself, was mitigated by the skill and loyalty 
of his translators. The first part of his Annales, the substance 
of which had already been communicated to Thuanus, was 
published in 1615 , and, ten years later, translated out of the 
French into English by Abraham Darcie, who gave his own 
flourishing title to the book: The True and Royall History of 
the famous Empresse Elizabeth, Queene of England France and 
lrda,ut 6Yc. True Faith's dcfendresse of Diz4ne rcmnvne and 
happy Memory. The second part, which describes the affairs 
of the kingdom from 1589 to the queen's death, was printed 
posthumously in 16 7, and translated into English by Thomas 
Browne, student of Christ Church, under the title of Tomus 
Idem et Alter (1629). 

,372 Chroniclers and Antiquaries 

Such is the history of the book. Its purpose and motive 
are apparent upon every page: to applaud the virtues of the 
queen and to uphold the protestant faith. In devising fitting 
titles for Elizabeth, Camden exhausts his ingenuity. She is 
the Queen of the Sea, the North Star, the restorer of our 
naval glory. He defends her actions with the quiet subtlety 
which suggests that defence is seldom necessary. His com- 
ment upon the death of Mary of Scotland is characteristic. 
Thus were achieved, he thinks, the two things which Mary 
and Elizabeth always kept nearest their hearts: the union of 
England and Scotland was assured in Mary's son, and the true 
religion, together with the safety of the English people, was 
effectively maintained. But Camden was not wholly en- 
grossed in the glory and wisdom of the queen. He looked 
beyond her excellences to the larger movements of the time. 
None understood better than he the spirit of enterprise which 
was founding a new England across the sea. He pays a just 
tribute of honour to Drake and Hawkins, he celebrates the 
prowess of John Davis and William Sanderson and he hails 
the rising colony of Virginia. Of Shakespeare and the drama he 
has not a word to say. The peculiar glory of his age escaped 
him. The death of Ascham, it is true, tempts him to a digres- 
sion, and persuades him to deplore that so fine a scholar should 
have lived and died a poor man through love of dicing and 
cock-fighting. And he fires a salute over the grave of Edmund 
Spenser, who surpassed all English poets, not excepting Chau- 
cer, and into whose tomb the other poets cast mournful elegies 
and the pens wherewith they wrote them. But, in the end, 
he returns to his starting-place, and concludes, as he began, 
on a note of panegyric. "No oblivion," he says, 

shall ever dim the glory of her Name: for her happy and renowned 
memory still lives, and shall for ever live in the Minds of Man to all 
posterity, as of one who (to use no other than her successor's 
expression) in Wisedome and Felicitie of government surpassed 
(without envy be it spoken) all the Princes since the days of 

Master Camden, as his contemporaries call him with re- 
spect, was well fitted for his task by nature and education. 

John Leland 37's 

I have seane them, and noted in so doynge a whole worlde of 
thynges verye memorable. 
It is a formidable list, and we may well believe that this old 
pedant on the tramp omitted nothing in his survey. What- 
ever he sav or heard he committed to his note-book, and 
carried back with him the vast undigested mass of facts from 
which many wiser heads are said to have pilfered. His am- 
bition vas commensurate with his industry. He trusted 
shortly to see the time when the king should have his "woflde 
and impery of Englande set forthe in a quadrate table of sylver," 
and, knowing that silver or brass is impermanent, he intended, 
as he told the king, 
by the leave of God, within the space of x moneths folowyng, such 
a descripcion to make of the realme in wryttinge, that it shall be 
no mastery after, for the graver or painter to make the lyke by 
a perfect example. 
Nor would his work end here. He determined to restore the 
ancient names which Caesar, Tacitus and others employed. 
In brief, said he, 
I trust so to open the wyndow, that the lyght shal be seane, so 
long, that is to say by the space of a whole thousand yeares, stopped 
up, and the glory of your renoumed Britain to reflorish through the 
Alas for the vanity of human hopes! It is easy to travel; 
it is not easy to convert a traveller's note-book into literature; 
and John Leland, elegant poet though he was in the Latin 
tongue, found the vork of arrangement and composition 
beyond his powers. Unhappily, he seems to have known the 
limit of his talent. He complains that "except truth be dely- 
cately clothed in purpure her written veryties can scant fynde 
a reader." This purple vesture it was not his to give, and 
the vofld looked in vain for his expected masterpiece. When, 
at last, he recognised that it vas for others he had gathered 
the honey of his knowledge, he went mad, "upon a foresight," 
said Wood, "that he was not able to perform his promise." 
Some charged him with pride and vainglory without justice. 
He was not proud, merely inarticulate. The work he designed 
for himself was done by Camden. And, now that his Itiwrary 
is printed, it is difficult to understand the enthusiasm of his 

376 Chroniclers and Antiquaries 

contemporaries. It makes no pretence to be written. It 
is the perfection of dryasdust, and the only writer with whom 
Leland may profitably be compared is the author of Brad- 
shaw's Guide. Here are two specimens of his lore, chosen 
at random: 

Mr. Pye dwellit at...a title from Chippenham, but in Chippenham 

One told me that there was no notable Bridge on Avon betwixt 
Malmesbyri and Chippenham. I passed over 2 Bekkes betwixt 
Malmesbyri and Chippetlham. 
The statements are superbly irrelevant, and it is clear that 
the old tailors had the better of the vaunted scholar. 
As a topographer, indeed, it is Stow who takes his place by 
Camden's side. The Survey of tlw Cities of Louton alut West- 
inster (598 and 6o3) is a diligent and valuable piece of 
work, at once faithful and enthusiastic. For Stov, London 
was the fairest, largest, richest and best inhabited city in the 
world, and he gave it all the care and study which he thought 
it deserved. Other travellers went further afield. To Richard 
Carew, we owe A Survey o[ Cornwall (6oe) ; and John Norden 
cherished the wider ambition of composing a series of county 
histories. Only a fragment of his vast design, which he would 
have entitled Speczlum Britaniae, has come down to usa 
"preparative" to the whole work, together with brief sketches 
of Middlesex and Hertford (593)- The failure is more to be 
regretted because Norden himself was a man of parts. He 
came of a "gentile family," says Wood, was authorised, in 
 593, by a privy council order to travel through England and 
Wales, "to make more perfect descriptions, charts and maps" 
and was a very deft cartographer, as is shown to all in Cam- 
den's Britaznia. The liveliest of his works, the Surveyor's 
Dialogue (6o8), may still be read with pleasure. Therein, 
Norden deplores, like many another, the luxury which had 
come upon the country under the rule of the Tudors; he ob- 
serves, with sorrow, the enhanced prices of all commodities, 
the smoke of many chimneys, which "hinders the heate and 
light of the Sunne from earthly creatures," and the many acres 
of deforested land. The farmers, he says, are not content 
unless they are gentry, and "gentlemen have sunke them- 

Sir Thomas Smith 377 

selves by rowing in vanities boate." In brief, he sees about 
him the signs of ruin and desolation, and his treatise may 
aptly be compared vith some passages of Harrison's Descrip- 
tion of Englaut. 
What the travellers did for their country, Sir Thomas 
Smith, in his Common I|'ealth of Englaut (written in 1565, 
printed in 1584 ), did for its law and government. No treatise 
ever written owed less to ornament. As the author himself 
says, he has "declared summarily as it were in a Chart or 
Map" the form and manner of government and the policy of 
England. His is no feigned commonwealth such as never was 
nor shall be, no vain imagination, no fantasy of philosophers, 
but England as she 

standeth and is governed at this day the eight and twentie of 
March, Anno i565, in the seventh yeere of the Raigne and Ad- 
ministration thereof by the most religious, virtuous, and noble 
Queene Elizabeth. 

In style and in substance the book is as concise as a classic. 
It wastes no words and betrays few emotions. Only once or 
twice does Sir Thomas Smith permit himself a touch of hu- 
manity or a hint of observation. The yeomen of England, 
the good Archers, "the stable troupe of Footmen that affraid 
all France," arouse him to a fitful enthusiasm, and, in the dis- 
cussion of England's malefactors, he reveals a flash of real 
insight, namely that Englishmen, while they neglect death, 
will not endure torture. "The nature of our Nation is free, 
stout, hault, prodigall of life and blood," says he, "but con- 
tumely, beating, servitude, and servile torment, and punish- 
ment it will not abide." The popularity of the book is easily 
intelligible. It appealed to a people hungry for -knowledge 
of itself, but it gives no hint of the erudite Greek professor, the 
adroit ambassador, the wise secretary of state, the curious 
astrologer, all whose parts Sir Thomas Smith played with 
distinction and success. 
An encyclopaedic method claims for John Foxe, the mar- 
tyrologist, a place among the chroniclers. Not that his aim 
and purpose resembled theirs. It was not for him to exalt his 
country, or to celebrate the triumphs of her past. His was 
the gloomier task of recounting the torments suffered by the 

378 Chroniclers and Antiquaries 

martyrs of all ages, and he performed it with so keen a zest 
that it was not his fault if one single victim escaped his pur- 
view. In other words, he was content only with universality, 
and hov well he succeeded let Fuller tell: "In good earnest, 
as to the particular subject of our English martyrs, Mr. Foxe 
hath done everything, leaving posterity nothing to work upon." 
And so he goes back to the beginning, describing the martyr- 
doms of the early church, and of those who suffered in England 
under king Lucius. As he passes by, he pours contempt upon 
Becket, proving that he, at least, was no true martyr, being 
the open and avowed friend of the pope. But it is when he 
arrives within measurable distance of his own time that he 
finds the best food for his eloquence. The prowess of Henry 
VIII, the exploits of Thomas Cromwdl, his prime hero, the 
magnanimity of Anne Boleyn, "who, without controversy, was 
a special comforter and aider of all the professors of Christ's 
gospel," tempt him to enthusiasm, and he rises to the highest 
pitch of his frenzy when he recounts the tortures of those 
who suffered death in the reign of queen Mary. He is no 
sifter of authorities; he is as credulous as the simplest chroni- 
cler; he gathers his facts where Grafton and Stow gathered 
theirs, and he makes no attempt to test their accuracy. His 
sin is the greater because he is not writing to amuse or to 
enlighten his readers, but to prove a point in controversy. 
He is, in brief, a violent partisan. His book is the longest 
pamphlet ever composed by the hand of man. It is said to 
be twice as long as Gibbon's Decline ald Fall, and never for 
one inoment does it waver from its purpose, which is to expose 
the wickedness of "the persecutors of God's truth, commonly 
called Papists." It is idle, therefore, to expect accuracy or 
a quiet statement from Foxe. If anyone belong to the other 
side, Foxe can credit him neither with honesty nor with intel- 
ligence. Those only are martyrs who die for the protestant 
cause. The spilt blood of such men as Fisher and More does 
not distress him. For the author of Utopia, indeed, he has 
a profound contempt. He summarily dismisses him as "a 
bitter persecutor of good men, and a wretched enemy against, 
the truth of the gospel." It follows, therefore, that Foxe's 
mind also was enchained. It was not liberty of opinion which 
seemed good in his eyes, but the vanquishing of the other side. 

John Foxe 379 

Though he interceded for certain anabaptists condemned by 
queen Elizabeth, it was his object to rescue them not from 
punishment but from the flames, which was, he thought, in 
accord with a Roman rather than with a Christian custom. 
However, the success of his Acres a Monuments was immedi- 
ate. It was universally read, it aroused a storm of argument, 
it was ordered to be chained in churches for the general edi- 
fication of the people. The temper in which it is written, the 
inflexible judgment which, throughout, distorts the truth 
with the best motive, have rendered the book less valuable in 
modern than in contemporary eyes. If we read it to-day, 
we read it not for its matter or for its good counsel, but for its 
design. As a mere performance, the Acres and 3Iommets is 
without parallel. Foxe was an astounding virtuoso, whose 
movement and energy never flag. With a fever of excitement 
he sustains his own interest (and sometimes yours) in his 
strange medley of gossip, document and exhortation. The 
mere style of the work--homely, quick and appropriate-is 
sufficient to account for its favour. The dramatic turn which 
Foxe gives to his dialogues, the vitality of the innumerable 
men and vomen, tortured and torturers, who throng his pages 
--these are qualities which do not fade with years. Even the 
spirit of bitter raillery which breathes through his pages 
amazes, while it exasperates, the reader. From the point of 
view of presentation, the vork's worst fault is monotony. 
Page after page, the martyrologist revels in the terms of 
suffering. He spares you nothing, neither the creeping flames, 
nor the chained limb, until you begin to believe that he himself 
had a love of blood and fire. 
The man vas just such a one as you would expect from his 
book. Born in r St 7, to parents "reputed of good estate," 
sent to Oxford, in r533, by friends who approved his "good 
inclination and towardness to learning," and elected fellov 
of Magdalen College, he vas presently accused of heresy and 
expelled from Oxford. He was of those who can neither brook 
opposition nor accept argument. Henceforth, though he never 
stood at the stake, he suffered the martyrdom of penury and 
distress. Noxv tutor in a gentleman's house, now in flight for 
the sake of his opinions, he passed some years at Basel reading 
for the press, and, in 559, he published at Strassburg the 

"History of Richard the Thirde" 

and temper of More. It is marked throughout by an asperity 
of tone, an eager partisanship, which belong more obviously 
to Morton than to the humane author of Utopia.. 
From beginning to end, Richard III is painted in the 
blackest colours. No gossip is overlooked which may throw 
a sinister light upon the actions of the prince. It is hinted, 
not only that he slew Henry VI, but that he x'as privy to 
Clarence's death. The most is made of his deformed body 
and cunning mind, the least of his policy. If accuracy be 
sacrificed, the artistic effect is enhanced. The oneness of 
Richard's character gives a unity and concentration to the 
portrait which cannot be overpraisect. For the first time in 
English literature, we come upon a history which is not a mere 
collection of facts, but a deliberately designed and carefully 
finished whole. The author has followed the ancient models. 
He knows how fine an effect is produced by the putting of 
appropriate speeches in the mouths of his characters. The 
value of such maxims as sum up a situation and point a moral 
does not escape him. "Slipper youth must be underproplFed 
with elder counsayle," says he. And, again: "The desire of 
a kingdome knoveth no kinred. The brother hath bene the 
brother's bane." Here we hax'e the bre-ity and the wise 
commonplace of the Greek chorus. Abox'e all, he prox-es the 
finest economy in preparing his effects. The great scene in 
which Richard arrests lord Hastings opens in a spirit of gentle 
courtesy. ")[y Lord," says the protector to the bishop of Ely, 

you have very good strawberries at your gardayne in Holberne, I 
request you let us have a messe of them. Gladly my lord, quod he, 
woulde God I had some better thing as redy to your pleasure as 

And then the stoma breaks. In brief, the author's sense of 
what is picturesque never slumbers. The sketches of the 
queen and Shore's wife are drawn by a master. The persist- 
ence with which Richard tightens his grasp upon the throne 
is rendered with the utmost skill. Nor is the sense of propor- 
tion ever at fault. You are gix-en the very essence of the 
tragedy, and so subtle is the design that, at the first reading, 
it may escape you. The style is marked by a strict economy 
of words and a constant preference of English before Latin. 

382 Chroniclers and Antiquaries 

From beginning to end, there is no trace cf flamboyancy or 
repetition, and, while we applaud the visdom of the chroni- 
clers who made this history of Richard their own, we cannot 
but wonder that one and all failed to profit by so free an 
example of artistry and restraint. 
Few books have had a stranger fate than George Caven- 
dish's Life aut Death of Thomas Woolsey. Written when 
queen Mary was on the throne, it achieved a secret and furtive 
success. It was passed in manuscript from hand to hand. 
Shakespeare "knew it and used it. _As I have said, both Stov 
and Speed leaned upon its authority. First printed in I641, 
it was then so defaced by interpolations and excisions as to 
be scarce recognisable, and it was not until i657 that a perfect 
text was given to the xvorld. And then, for no visible reason, 
it was ascribed to William, not to George, Cavendish. The 
uncertainty had no other excuse save that William, the better 
known of the two, was the founder of a great family. Speed 
gives the credit where it was due, to George--and Speed's 
xvord was worth more than surmise. However, all doubt was 
long since removed, and to George Cavendish, a simple gentle- 
man of the cardinal's household, belongs the glory of having 
given to English literature the first specimen of artistic bio- 
graphy. Steadfast in devotion, plain in character, Cavendish 
left all to follov the fortunes of the cardinal. He was witness 
of his master's pomp and splendour; he was witness of his 
ruin and his death. He embellished his narrative with Wol- 
sey's own eloquence; he recorded the speech of Cromwdl, 
Northumberland and others; and he imparts to his pages a 
sense of reality which only a partaker of Wolsey's fortune 
could impart. But he was not a Boswell, attempting to pro- 
duce a large effect by a multiplicity of details. His book has 
a definite plan and purpose. Consciously or unconsciously, 
Cavendish was an artist. His theme is the theme of many a 
Greek tragedy, and he handles it with Greek austerity. He 
sets out to show how Nemesis descends upon the haughty and 
overbold, how the mighty are suddenly cast down from their 
seats, how the hair-shirt lurks ever beneath the scarlet robes 
of the cardinal. This is the confessed end and aim of his work. 
He is not compiling a "life and times." He discards as irrele- 
vant many events which seem important in the eye of history. 

Cavendish's "Life of Woolsey ' 383 

The famous words which he puts in the mouth of Wolsey dying 
might serve as a text for the whole work: "If I had served God 
as diligently as I have done the king, he would not have given 
me over in my grey hairs." 
That his readers may feel the full pathos of Wolsey's fall, he 
paints the magnificence of his life in glowing colours. Titles are 
heaped upon titles. The boy bachelor grows to the man of 
affairs, the ambassador, the king's almoner, the chancellor of 
England, the archbishop of York, the cardinal. In lavish enter- 
tainment, in noble pageantry, the cardinal surpassed the king. 
His banquets "with monks and mummers it vas a heaven to 
behold." The officers of his chapel and of his household vere 
like the sands in number. He moved always in a procession. 
"He rode like a cardinal, very sumptuously, on a mule trapped 
with crimson velvet upon velvet, his stirrups of copper and 
gilt; and his spare mule following him with like apparel." 
Is it any wonder that fortune "began to wax something wroth 
with his prosperous estate" ? Almost at the outset, the note of 
warning is struck. The sinister influence of Anne Boleyn begins 
to be felt from the moment that the cardinal comes between 
her and the love of lord Percy. In other words, fortune "pro- 
cured Venus, the insatiate goddess, to be her instrument." 
The king's displeasure at the slov process of divorce is height- 
ened by the whisperings of Mistress .Mane. And then, at 
Grafton, the blow falls. The cardinal is ordered to give up 
the great seal and to retire to Esher. Henceforth, misfor- 
tunes are heaped upon him, as they were heaped upon Job, 
and he bears them with an equal resignation. He is stripped 
of wealth and state. His hopeless journey from town to town 
brings him nearer only to death. The omens are bad. A 
cross falls upon Bonner's head as he sits at meat. When 
the earl of Northumberland, charged to arrest him of high 
treason, visits him, "Ye shall have such cheer," says the 
cardinal, with the true irony of Sophocles, "as I am able to 
make you, vith a right good will . . . hoping hereafter to see 
you oftener, when I shall be more able and better provided to 
receive you with better fare." So, at last, he dies at Leicester, 
dishonoured and disgraced, stripped of his splendour, aban- 
doned by his train. And Cavendish, speaking with the 
voice of the tragic chorus, exhorts his readers to behold "the 

384 Chroniclers and Antiquaries 

wondrous mutability of vain honours, the brittle assurance of 
abundance, the uncertainty of dignities, the flattery of feigned 
friends, and the fickle trust to worldly princes." 
Talent and opportunity were given to the simple, unlet- 
tered Cavendish, and he made the fullest use of them. Sir 
John Hayward was a historian of another kind. tie was not 
driven by accident or experience to the practice of his craft. 
He adopted it as a profession, and resembled the writers of a 
later age more nearly than any of his contemporaries. Born 
in Suffolk, about i56o, he was educated at the university of 
Cambridge, and devoted himself with a single mind to the 
study of history. He was in no sense a mere chronicler. He 
aimed far higher than the popular history, digested into an- 
nals. His mind was always intent upon the example of the 
ancients. He liked to trick out his narratives with appro- 
priate speeches after the manner of Livy. He delighted in 
the moral generalisations which give an air of solemnity to 
the art of history as it was practised by the Greeks and Romans. 
His first work, in which are described the fall of Richard II and 
the first years of Henry IV, and which was dedicated to the 
earl of Essex, incurred the wrath of Elizabeth, and cost him 
some years of imprisonment. The queen asked Bacon if he 
could find any passages in the book which savoured of treason. 
"For treason surely I find none," said Bacon, "but for felony 
very many." And when the queen asked him "Wherein?" 
he told her that "the author had committed very apparent 
theft; for he had taken most of the sentences of Cornelius 
Tacitus, and translated them into English, and put them in 
his text." This criticism is as true as it is witty. Hayward 
aims at sententiousness with an admirable success, and did his 
best to make himself the Tacitus of England. 
In the "Epistle Dedicatorie" to his Lives of the Three 
Normans, Kings of England, he declares that, though he had 
vritten of the past, he "did principally bend and binde himself 
to the times wherein he should live." His performance did not 
agree with his bent. Concerning the times near which he 
lived he has left but a fragment: The beginning of the Reigw of 
Qneeue Elizabeth, of which beginning he had no more personal 
keowledge than of the Life and Reigne of King Edward the 
Sixt, which, in some respects, is his masterpiece. But, what- 

Sir John Hayward 385 

ever was the period of his choice, he treated it with the same 
knowledge and impartiality. He made a proper use of un- 
published material. The journal of Edward VI gives an air 
of authenticity to his biography of that king, and, in treating 
of William I, he went back to sources of information which all 
the chroniclers had overlooked. In brief, he was a scholar 
who took a critical view of his task, who was more deeply in- 
terested in policies and their result than in the gossip of his- 
tory and who was always quick to illustrate modern England 
by the examples of Greece and Rome. His pages are packed 
with literary and historical allusions. He was, moreover, 
always watchful of his style, intent ever upon producing a 
definite effect, and, if he errs, as he does especially in hi= Hezry 
IV, on the side of elaboration, it is a fault of which he is per- 
fectly conscious, and which he does not disdain. Thus, at 
last, with the author of Richard III and Sir John Hayward, 
England reverted to the ancient models, and it is from them 
and not from the chroniclers that our art of history must date 
its beginnings. 
VOL, I II--2_ 

Two Centres of Influence 387 

vhich, under earlier conditions, alone had made long narrative 
Prose fiction, therefore, is one of the gifts of the Elizabeth- 
ans to our literature, and the gift is none the less valuable 
because unconsciously made. It was no special creation, 
fashioned upon a definite model, but, rather, the result of a 
variety of efforts which, indirectly, converged towards one 
literary type. Its elements vere of various origin, being bor- 
rowed, in part, from medieval England, in part, from abroad, 
while much, also, was due to the initiative of the age. The 
material with which it dealt, varied in accordance with the 
immediate end in view. Its "treatises" and its pamphlets 
embodied studies of manners and character-sketches; it com- 
prised tales of adventure as well as romance; it dealt with con- 
temporary life and events of the past, with life at the court, 
and life in the city; it was, by turns, humorous and didactic, 
realistic and fanciful, in short, it represented the first rough 
drafts of the later novel. The history of the novel had really 
begun, and, although the term was not, as yet, generally ap- 
plied, the word itself had already entered the language. 
The two main centres of influence around which Elizabethan 
prose fiction revolved were the court and the people. The 
court was easily the supreme element in national life, and one 
great aim of contemporary letters became that of supply'ing 
the courtier's needs, just as, in Rome, it was the orator, the 
typical figure of the classical age, who had won similar atten- 
tion. At the same time, a strong and self-conscious middle 
class was emerging from the ruins of feudalism, and the com- 
mons were becoming alive to the interests of their class. 
Hence, now for the first time, they made their way into litera- 
ture, and the treatment of their affairs became the secondary 
aim of this prose fiction. 
A period of apprenticeship came first, in which the lines of 
translation were closely followed, and then, with skill acquired 
in the art of story-telling, a host of writers devoted themselves 
to the neMy found craft. A series of moral treatises, in 
narrative form, were the first to appear. They aimed, for the 
most part, at courtly education, and, up to about 584, in- 
struction, often in sugared form, became the main concern of 
a body of writers, of whom L5"15' was chief. Then the business 

.388 Elizabethan Prose Fiction 

became one of a more cheeruI kind: Greene and Lodge wrote 
their romances for court entertainment, while Sidney sought 
distraction in the quiet shades of Arcadia. In the last decade 
of the century came the assertion of the bourgeois element. 
As an embodiment of realistic tendencies, it followed, naturally 
enough, upon the previous romancing; but social considera- 
tions had, also, made it inevitable. Greene, Nashe and Deloney 
laboured to present the dark and the fair side of the life of the 
people: they wrote to reform as well as to amuse. 
Throughout the whole period, England, as is well known, 
was singularly sensitive to foreign influence: one foreign work 
or another seems to have been continually inspiring Eliza- 
bethan pens. Castiglione and Guevara, 3Iontemayor and 
Mendoza, each in his different way, exercised influence, which 
was certainly stimulative, and was, to some extent, directive. 
But, while this is true, it is equally true that, in most cases, 
the actual production springs readily and naturally from 
English soil; southern influence, undoubtedly, helped to warm 
the seed into life, but the seed itself was of an earlier sowing. 
First, with regard to the treatises: the enthusiasm inspired 
by North's translation (I557) of Guevara's El Relox de 
Principes, and Hoby's translation (i56i) of Castiglione's Il 
Cortegiano, was as great as it was undoubted, but it does not 
altogether account for Lyly's great work. Courtesy books 
had been written in English before those works appeared. The 
Babees' Boke (i475), "a lytyl reporte of how young people 
should behave," and Hugh Rhodes's Boke o] Nurture (i45o, 
published i577), had previously aimed at inculcating good 
manners; afterwards came Elyot's Governour (i 53 i), Ascham's 
Scholemastcr (published i57o ) and Sir Humphrey Gilbert's 
Queene Elizabethes Achademy (written after I562), all of which 
treated of instruction, not only in letters, but also in social 
and practical life. t Such works as these, together with the 
numerous 3Iirrours, aimed at pointing the way to higher social 
refinement, and thus the movement which culminated in Lyly 
had already begun in fifteenth-century England, and had kept 

' Note, also, A lytle Booke oJ Good Maners or Chyldren (i554) by Whit- 
tinton, R., The Myrrour o Good Maners, translated from the Latin by Alex- 
ander Barclay and printed by Pynson, and R. Peterson's translation of G. 
della Casa's Galateo (I576). 

39o Elizabethan Prose Fiction 

cultural depression, long years of militarism and the closing 
of the monasteries, had done much to reinforce those bands 
of "broken men" that swarmed like plagues over England. 
Their existence began nov more than ever to force itself upon 
the notice of their countrymen, while, at the same time, the 
tendency of the renascence in the direction of individualism 
urged attention to these human units, and the sombre condi- 
tions under which they lived. And yet the realistic literature 
of 59o-i6oo vas of no sudden growth. Humble life had 
been portrayed in the lay of Havdok, its laments had been 
voiced in the vision of Piers the Plowman and alongside the 
romances of earlier England had existed coarser fabliaux which 
related the tricks and intrigues of the lower reaches of society. 
It was only a more specialised form of these tastes and tenden- 
cies which sprang into being in the sixteenth century. To 
the popular mind, collections of jests, as we have seen, 1 had 
become an acceptable form of literature, while, at the same 
time, material was being collected for English rogue-studies; - 
and, vhile the jest-collections had aimed at mere amusement, 
the rogue pamphlets were prompted by ideas of reform. It is 
this material vhich anticipates the realistic work of Greene, 
Nashe and Deloney. The social influences which produced 
the earlier and cruder type of work also produced the later. 
The probationary period of translation enters but slightly 
into the present narrative; and yet, as it marks the first stage 
in the development of prose fiction, it must not be entirely 
forgotten. Painter and Petrie, Whetstone and Riche are the 
translators mainly concerned, and their efforts are character- 
ised by an interesting change from mere translation to bolder 
and more original treatment. Painter, in his Palace of Pleasure 
(i566-7), supplies versions of a hundred and one tales, some 
forty of which are taken from Boccaccio and Bandello; Fenton, 
in his Tragicall Discourses ( 567), reproduces thirteen tales of 
Bandello; and both, for the most part, are content with simple, 
faithful translation. In the twelve stories, however, which 
constitute The Petite Pallace of Pettie his Pleasure (576), an 
advance on the mere process of translation is plainly visible, 

See ante, Chap. v. 
C[. Awdeley's Fraternitye o] vacabones and Haman's Caveat, ante, pp. 

39 - Elizabethan Prose Fiction 

the time, that of supplying moral treatises for courtly reading. 
These works, which aimed at edifying by means of disqui- 
sitions on subjects like love and friendship, form a sort of 
intellectual counterpart to such works as Iriwentio SavioIo his 
Practise, which"intreated" of the use of rapier and dagger and 
was "most necessarie for all gentlemen that had in regard their 
IIonors." They were a revival, in some sort, of the medieval 
discussions, though scarcely, on the whole, as trivial. Under 
an attractive narrative form, they contrived to disseminate 
southern culture after the fashion of Castiglione and Guevara. 
The great outstanding figure in this line is that of John Lyly, 
a native of Kent, and, in his day, a noted son of Oxford. His 
career was one of strenuous effort, ill-requited because ill- 
directed. His nice, fastidious temperament, which marked him 
off from the roaring section of university wits, seems to have 
rendered him ineffective in actual life. At Oxford, he missed 
recognition; his ambition to succeed to the Mastership of the 
Revels was quietly ignored; while his closing years, passed in 
penury and neglect, form a saddening sequel to the efforts of 
one, who, in his time, had adorned the stage, had beautified 
the conversation of exquisites "of learned tendency" and had 
been the fruitful occasion of much wit in others. 
The work for which he is famous appeared in two instal- 
ments. Euphues, the Anatomy of ll'it was "lying bound on 
the stationers stall" by the Christmas of i578; Euphues and 
his Englawl, the second part, appeared in 58o. Together, 
they form an extensive moral treatise, and, incidentally, our 
first English novel. The whole hangs together by the thinnest 
of plots, which is, indeed, more a means to an end than an 
end in itself. Each incident and situation is merely an oppor- 
tunity for expounding some point of philosophy. Euphues, 
a young man of Athens, arrives at Naples, where he forms a 
friendship with young Philautus. He falls in love with Lucilla, 
the betrothed of Philautus, and is duly jilted by that fickle 
rmstress. This is all the action of The Amtomy of IVit: but 
the moralising element is something more considerable. The 
ancient Eubulus discourses on the follies of youth; Euphues, 
himself, on the subject of friendship. The complications 
brought about by the action of Lucilla lead to much bitter 
moralising upon fickleness in general, while Euphues, jilted, 

Lyly's "Euphues" 393 

discusses his soul and indites "a Cooling Carde for all Fond 
Lovers." Over and above all this, the work contains the 
hero's private papers, his essays and letters; and opportunities 
are seized for inveighing against dress, and for discoursing 
upon such diverse subjects as marriage and travel, education 
and atheism. In Euphues a his England, the scene changes 
from Italy to England. The two friends, now reconciled, 
proceed to Canterbury, where they are entertained by one 
Fidus, a pastoral figure of considerable attractiveness; Philau- 
tus soon becomes involved in the toils of love, while Euphues 
plays the part of a philosophical spectator. The former lays 
siege to the heart of one whose affections are already bestowed, 
and so, with philosophy for his comfort, he enters upon the 
vooing of another, with more auspicious result. This brings 
the action to a close, and Euphues leaves England, eulogising 
the country and the women it contains, and returns forthwith 
to nurse his melancholy within his cell at Silexedra. 
The significance of the structure is best appreciated by re- 
membering that the work is really a compilation, and is, in 
fact, entered as such in the Stationers' register. Reminiscences 
of Cicero occur, particularly of his Dc Amicitia and his De 
Natura Deorum: but the body of the work is drawn from 
North's Diall of Princes (557), the English translation of 
Guevara's great treatise. Euphues, in short, is little more 
than a re-ordering of this material, and Lyly betrays his source 
when he introduces certain details which, in his work, are 
obvious anachronisms, but which, in the pages of Guevara, 
were in perfect keeping. Apart from this, the adaptation has 
been consistently made, and the works coincide in much of 
their detail. Dissertations on the same subjects--on love 
and ladies, on friendship and God, occur in each. Both have 
letters appended to their close, vhich letters treat of identical 
subjects; Lyly's names of Lucilla, Livia and Camilla are taken 
over from Guevara, while the "Cooling Carde" of Euphues 
finds its counterpart in that letter of Marcus Aurelius against 
the frailty of women which is embodied in Guevara's xvork.  
It is only in a few instances that Lyly, while obtaining his 
idea from the Spanish work, goes elsewhere for fuller details. 

See Landmann, Transactions o[ the New Shak. Soc. (885), pp. 55 if- 

Euphuism 395 

write with clearness and precision, with ornament and culture, 
at a time when Englishmen desired "to heare finer speach 
then the language would allow." Lyly aimed at precision 
and emphasis, in the first place, by carefully balancing his 
words and phrases, by using rhetorical questions and by re- 
peating the same idea in different and striking forms. Allitera- 
tion, puns and further word-play were other devices employed 
to the same end. For ornament, in the second place, he 
looked mainly to allusions and similes of various kinds. He 
alludes to historical personages found in Plutarch and Pliny, 
to mythological figures taken from Ovid and Vergil. But his 
most daring ornamentation lies in his wholesale introduction 
of recondite knowledge; he draws similes from folklore, medi- 
cine and magic, above all from the Natural History of Pliny, 
and this mixture of quaint device and naive science resulted 
in a style which appealed irresistibly to his contemporaries. 1 
It should here be added, hovever, that the acquaintance with 
Plutarch and Pliny, which the elements of Lyly's style suggest, 
was not, necessarily, first hand. On the contrary, it was, 
almost certainly, obtained through the writings of Erasmus, 
which were in the hands of most sixteenth-centur3T scholars 
and which had already penetrated into the schools. In them, 
Erasmus had presented the fruit of his classical reading. His 
Similia Colloquia, Apophthegmata and Adagia offered in a 
clear, coherent form much that was best in antiquity and they 
represented a storehouse of learning which would save Lyly 
much seeking in his quest for learned material. In some cases, 
where Erasmus reproduces Pliny or Plutarch verbatim, Lyly's 
indebtedness to the great humanist might be doubted; but 
when Erasmus takes over his classical material in a somewhat 
altered form, when he expands or explains a thought, or falls 
into slight error or confusion, the fact that these variations 
from the original are faithfully reproduced in Lyly makes the 
latter's source undoubted. And if this indebtedness be 
proved in the case of variations, a further debt may be inferred 
even where identity of expression appears in the classical 
writers, in Erasmus and Lyly. - 

See Bond, Works of Lyly, vol. I, pp. 141 ft. 
See De Vocht, H., De Invloed van Erasmus op de Engelsche Tooneel- 
literatuur tier xvi" en xvii* eeuwen (eerste deel), i9o8. 

a98 Elizabethan Prose Fiction 

originaI effort. Some affected his styIe, others worked "Eu- 
phues" into their title-page, while the majority wrote, as Lyly 
had claimed to write, for "the onely delight of the Courteous 
Gentlewoemen." :Ynthony Munday's Zdauto (i58o) is the 
first of this school; it is a "delicate disputation . . . given for 
a friendly entertainment of Euphues," in which Zelauto's 
praise of England is in emulation of that of Euphues. In Bar- 
nabe Riche's Don Simonides (58) Philautus reappears and 
English manners, once again, form part of the topics discussed. 
Melbancke's Philotimus (i583) is made up of philosophical 
discussions on "the warre betqxt nature and fortune," and, 
in Warner's Pan his Syrix (584), woman is under debate, 
and, as in EuIhues, a "cooling carde" is drawn up against the 
sex. The most notable exponent of this fashionable type of 
work is, however, Robert Greene. His character, the date 
of his appearance and the attendant circumstances, all made 
it inevitable that he should follow the fashion, and xvork it 
for what it was worth. In his Mamillia (58o) he rdates how 
a fickle Pharicles undeservedly wins Mamillia's hand, a circum- 
stance which leads on, naturally enough, to questions of love 
and youthful folly. Upon these topics Greene, therefore, 
discourses, and duly recommends what he has to say, by means 
of zoological similes and classical precedents. These details 
of ornamentation he repeats in succeeding works, in his 2tIyrror 
o[ Modestie ( 584), based upon the story of Susanna and the 
elders, and in Morando (587), a series of dissertations upon 
the subject of love. In 587, two companion works, charac- 
terised by the same style, appeared from his pen. The first, 
Penelope's Web, consists of a discussion in which the faithful 
Penelope, strangely enough, embodies the ideas of the Italian 
Platonists in her conception of love, and then goes on to por- 
tray the perfect wife. In EuI)hues his Censure to Philautus, on 
the other hand, the perfect warrior is sketched, Euphues sup- 
plying the picture for the benefit of his friend. But, in spite 
of this and other sequels to Lyly's original story, the enthusiasm 
aroused by Euphues and the love-pamphlets he engendered 
had already begun to subside. Greene was already working 
in another field; and Lodge's still more belated pamphlet 
Euphues Shadow, the battaile of the sences, "wherein youthful 
folly is set down" (592), is nothing more than a hardy sur- 

Sir Philip Sidney 399 

vival, t It was a work born out of season; and, though its 
author was pleased to describe his Rosalynde as "Euphues 
golden legacie found after his death in his cell at Silexedra," 
such a description was little more than the whim of one "who 
had his oare in every paper boat"--the work itself belonged 
to another genre. 
Before the vigour of this edifying output had begun to 
abate, the literary current was already setting in the direction 
of the court romance. The study of codes of etiquette and 
morality, was, afte:" all, an unsatisfying diversion, and, to those 
who looked back regretfully to the more substantial chivalry 
of an earlier day, the romance still made a definite appeal. 
The earlier romance, however, had fallen into disrepute by 
this time; and the Elizabethan type was drawn up on lines 
somewhat different, and more in keeping with the fashion of 
the age. With the retention of characters of a princely kind 
and the frequent addition of a pastoral setting, a fresh situa- 
tion was devised, that of the nobly born in a simple life; and 
this, in its turn, brought about a change of motive, so that the 
general theme became that of the separation and reunion of 
royal kindred. Therefore, while the earlier chivalrous and 
supernatural elements are, for the most part, absent from the 
romances of Sidney, Greene and Lodge, in their Arcadias and 
Bohemias true nobility shines all the more clearly through the 
wrappings of humble pastoral circumstance. And this was a 
theme of which Shakespeare made good use in his romantic 
Of all the workers in the field of romance, Sir Philip Sidney 
stands out as best qualified by nature and circumstance to 
deal with the theme. Amid the shades of Penshurst, the golden 
past had entered his soul, and its gentle influence was shed 
over his remaining days. He travelled abroad and made 
friends with Languet; at home, his sympathies were divided 
between art and action. He began life as a courtier in 1575, 
but his idealistic temperament proved to be but ill-adapted 
for an atmosphere of intrigue. Bickerings with the earl of 
Oxford and a rebuff from Elizabeth drove him, in i579, into 
rustic retreat at Wilton, whence he emerged to take up diplo- 
matic work abroad, and to fall before Zutphen in  586. 
I Cf. also J. Dickenson's Arisbas, Euphues amidst his slumbers (594)- 

402 Elizabethan Prose Fiction 

other were due. But the laws of the prose romance were yet 
to be evolved, and in the Arcadia will be found no very logical 
development, nor skilful handling of the threads of the narra- 
tive. Its discursive character has already been noted, and 
one result of this exhausting method lies in the fact that the 
vork concludes without decent disposal of all the characters. 
Nor must humour be looked for in either situation or phrase. 
Though a few rustics like Dametas and Mopsa are introduced 
by way of an antimasque, the humorous result apparently 
desired is not obtained. Sidney's temperament was melan- 
choly as well as idealistic; his vision did not include either the 
ludicrous or the grotesque. The work, however, has the 
qualities of an eclectic performance, reflecting the rich con- 
fusion of the renascence mind. Fancy ranges in the romance 
from Greece to England, and within its purview the three 
ages seem to meet. The landscape, in the first place, has the 
bright colouring of renascence paintings--something, too, 
of the quieter tones of an English country-side; its temples 
and its churches, its palaces and pavilions, suggest a medley 
collected from Greece, Italy and England. Then, again, the 
ancient and medieval worlds appear to meet the modern. 
While the pastoral colouring revives the ancient notion of a 
golden age, and the chivalrous element is a faint afterglow of 
medieval days, a modern touch is perceived in the confessed 
unreality of the nature of the romance. Romance, hitherto, 
had been speciously linked with the real and actual: now, 
frankly removed to fanciful realms, it is made to imply an 
escape from realitymthe sense in which it is accepted by the 
modern mind. 
The style of the Arcadia represents a successful attempt at 
a picturesque prose, for the result is picturesque if somewhat 
extravagant. Other contemporaries were engaged upon the 
same quest, but, while Sidney avoids their several extrava- 
gances, he indulges in others of his own making. He avoids, 
for instance, the devices of Euphuism, the more obvious ab- 
surdities of bombastic, pedantic phrase, as well as those " tricks 
of alliteration" and other "far-fetched helps" which "do 
bewray a want of inward touch." His excesses, on the other 
hand, are those of a poet who forgets that he is now committed 
to prose. He enters upon a pedestrian task, unprepared to 

Greene's Realistic Work 

with a pathetic account of the reclaiming of a courtesan. And 
in The Blacke Booke's Messenger of the same year, Greene once 
more wages war with rascals, by sketching the grimy career 
of a celebrated rogue, one Ned Browne, whose belated repent- 
ance takes, place in the neighbourhood of the scaffold. 
Besides dealing in this way with roguery, Greene also gives 
some attention to the more respectable side of London life, 
in his Quip for an Upstart Courtier or a Quaint Distmte between 
Velvet-Breeches arut Cloth-Breeches (592). The dispute is as to 
whether the courtier (i.e. Velvet-Breeches) or the tradesman 
(Cloth-Breeches) is deserving of the greater respect, and the 
decision is duly referred to a jury of tradesmen. This brings 
together a body of typical citizens, and is thus a device xvhich 
enables the author to introduce his projected class-descriptions. 
The work reveals Greene's democratic sympathies, for he not 
only finds much interest in his commonplace types, but he also 
takes care, while giving short shrift to his upstart courtier, to 
assign more flattering treatment to the London tradesman. 
And this democratic attitude is not devoid of a certain signifi- 
cance, especially when a similar sympathy appears in Deloney's 
work: it explains, in some measure, the impulse which origi- 
nated this realistic section of Elizabethan fiction. The form 
of the work is that of the medieval dream-vision, the funda- 
mental idea, apparently, being taken from an anonymous poem, 
A Debate between Pride arut Lowliness. 
All this work of Greene had meant a eonsiderable contri- 
bution to the literature dealing with contemporary life. With 
the author we pass through tavern doors, enter haunts of 
iniquity and become witnesses to the low cunning, the sordid- 
ness and the violence of the society found there. Bohemian 
life is laid bare, various characters of loxv life are drawn; and, 
in the middle of it all, a notable youth is pointed out, as he, 
a veritable Shakescene, is engaged in patching up old plays 
for the stage. 
The next great realist, Thomas Nashe, was another of those 
university wits who lived hard, wrote fiercely, and died young. 

the pedlars--those 
gaderers of cony skynnes 
That chop with laces, poyntes, nedles and pyns (Copland) ; 
quoted by Hart, H. S., see Notes and Queries, io Ser. vol. xv, p. 484. 

4I: Elizabethan Prose Fiction 

He seems to have travelled in Germany and Italy; by I589, he 
had done with Cambridge, and was endeavouring, in the me- 
tropolis, to live by his pen. His description as "a fellow 
whose muse was armed with a gag tooth and his pen possessed 
with Hercules' furies" shows how he struck a contemporary, ' 
but his vigour was of the cheerful kind. With all his boister- 
ousness, there is about him an unconquerable gaiety, and, in 
spite of hopes of patronage deferred, and an imprisonment on 
account of his unfortunate play, the Isle of Dogs ( 1597), it was the 
ludicrous, rather than the morbid in life, that appealed to him. 
Like his friend Greene, Nashe was responsible, in the first 
i,lace, for certain pamphlets dealing with the social life of 
London; but he does not confine himself, as was the case with 
Greene, to the outcast and the pariah, nor, on the other hand, 
does he find much attraction in the steady-going citizen. 
His attack is directed against respectable roguery, against 
fo,lish affectations and empty superstition, and these things 
proved excellent whetstones for his satirical wit. His Anatomie 
of Absurditie (1589) iS a characteristic study of contemporary 
manners. He plays with the theme of Stubbes's Awtomy of 
Abuscs ( 583) ; but, while he does not deny that much evil was 
abroad, he yet contrives to find much that is amusing in the 
"licentious follies" assailed by the puritan. In Pierce Pen- 
nilcsse, his Supplication to the Di'cll (59), where he figures 
as Pierce, Nashe gives a fair taste of his quality. He pillories, 
among others, the travelled Englishman "who would be 
humorous forsooth, and have a broode of fashions by him- 
selfe"; the brainless politician who thought "to be counted 
rare by beeing solitarie "; and those inventors of religious 
sects who were a confusion to their age. The result is a gallery 
of contemporary portraits, faithfully reproduced, and tempered 
with wit. In 593, he wrote Christ's Teares oz, er Jerusalem, 
a pamphlet which throws light upon the morals of Elizabethan 
London, and, incidentally, depicts the gamester, the thread- 
bare scholar and tavern life generally. He rails against those 
who "put all their felicity in going pompously and garishly," 
and then he turns his attack upon "dunce" preachers and 
usurers. The former he accuses of "hotch-potching" Scrip- 
ture,"without use or edification"; the latter had drawn from 
' For Nashe's share in the l[arprelate controversy, see post, Chap. xvL 

Its Literary Qualities 415 

rough drafts of character-sketches; and the aim is that of en- 
tertainment rather than reform. From the picaresque novel, 
however, it diverges in its English mixture of tragedy with 
comedy, and, again, in the fact that the animating impulse of 
its rogue-hero is not avarice but a malignant and insatiable 
love of mischief. The Spanish picaro, also, generally belonged 
to the lowest class and was wont to confine his attentions 
very largely to Spanish society, but Jack Wilton, a page, 
moves further afield and reviews no less expansive a scene 
than that of western Europe in the first half of the sixteenth 
As regards its form in general, the work may be classified 
as a novel of manners, though, obviously, it deals with different 
material from that employed by Lyly in his Euphues. It also 
represents our first historical novel. Nashe had promised 
some "varietie of mirth "; he had also proposed a "reasonable 
conveyance of history"; and thus the great intellectual and 
religious movements of the preceding age are duly represented. 
They are represented, too, at their most significant moments, 
and by the most impressive personalities. Erasmus and Sir 
Thomas More are the representatives of the humanistic move- 
ment; Surrey the courtier stands for a vanishing chivalry; the 
militant Luther and the anabaptists represent religious thought ; 
vhile the supernatural pretensions of Cornelius Agrippa point 
to a still active superstition. 1 In this device of mingling 
history with fiction, Nashe is practically original. In intro- 
ducing a tragic element into his work, he probably aimed at 
presenting a more complete picture of actual life than was 
possible by means of comedy alone; but in this he is not alto- 
gether successful. His tragedy is apt to border upon the 
melodramatic, and he is much happier in the comic vein. 
For his comedy, he depends upon lively situation: he scorns 
Euphuistic wit, and futile word play, as well as those cruder 
conceits which "clownage kept in pay." He is alike successful 
in hislarge bold outlines, and in his detailed descriptions; his 
scenes are the more effective on account of their incidental 
detail, and he is fully alive to "the effect of a pose, of the fold 
of a garment." The action is one of uniform movement, 
! See Kollmann, "Nashe's Unfortunate Traveller," etc.,Anglia, xxII (x), 

4 I6 Elizabethan Prose Fiction 

retarded by no irrelevant episode or unnecessary description; 
the novelist is proof even against the attractions of Rome with 
its storied associations. The movements of the hero are 
never lost sight of, and, in view of these facts, the work is 
something more than a mere succession of scenes. It is true 
that the author occasionally allows himself some latitude 
in the matter of personal reflections, but they can never be 
said to become intrusive. For instance, he puts into the 
mouth of one of his characters at Rome certain words of warn- 
ing on the evils of travel; his ardent enthusiasm for poetry is 
revealed when he writes, concerning poets: "None come so 
neere to God in wit, none more contemn the world 
despised they are of the world because they are not of the 
world ;" and, again, his orthodox spirit cannot forbear to point 
a moral to his stors_" of the anabaptists: " Heare what it is," 
he writes, "to be anabaptists, to be puritans, to be villains." 
The main characteristics of Nashe's mature prose are its 
naturalness and force. Most of his contemporaries had aimed 
at refinement rather than strength, they relied upon artifice 
which soon lost its power of appeal. But Nashe, dealing with 
plain things, writes in plain prose, and it was but natural for 
the satirist of contemporary affectations to dismiss from his 
practice the prose absurdities of the time. While he was at 
Cambridge, Euphues had appeared to him as beyond all praise, 
and considerable regard for Euphuistic effects appears in his 
earlier work. But, later, he discarded, and helped Greene 
to discard, the specious aid of "counterfeit birds and hearbes 
and stones," and his later "vaine," he took pride in stating, 
was of his "own begetting" and called "no man father in Eng- 
land." In the novel, the hero occasionally makes use of 
Euphuistic similes and Latin tags, but a dramatic intention 
underlies this device, for the page has frequently to "engage 
his dupes with silver-sounding tales." From Nashe's later 
work, all this is absent ; he successfully aims at a familiar style, 
and the result embodies the strength and weakness of actual 
conversation. In thus turning from books to life, Nashe, like 
later writers in dialect, produces a style fresh and picturesque, 
vivid, terse and droll: he avoids abstract terms, and discards 
what is hackneyed. But, on the other hand, not infrequently, 
he is faulty in his syntax, and inartistic, even xxtlgar, in his 

420 Elizabethan Prose Fiction 

consists of a series of attempts made by Meg and her rival, 
Gillian, to win the love of the hero-apprentice. A most effec- 
tive situation is brought about when the two maids arrive at 
the same hour at the supposed trysting-place in Tuttle Fields. 
They each awkwardly offer an awkward explanation for their 
presence there, but each sturdily refuses to leave the field; and 

in this humour, they sat them down, and sometimes they stalkt 
round about the field, till at last the watch met with them, who, 
contrary to Gillian's mind, took pains to bring them home together. 
At what time they gave one another such privie flouts that the 
watchmen took no little delight to hear it. 

The upshot of it all is that the desirable Richard marries 
neither, whereupon Meg indulges in a soliloquy reminiscent 
of Falstaff : 

"Wherefore is griefe good ?" asks the disappointed maid. "Can it 
recall folly past? No. Can it help a matter remediless? No. 
What then? Can grief make unkind men courteous? No. Then 
wherefore should I grieve? Nay, seeing it is so, hang sorrow! I 
will never care for them that care not for me." 

The next story, Master Peachey and his me,z, gives a breezy 
account of the cudgelling administered by the sturdy master- 
shoemaker to certain insolent court bullies, and then goes on to 
describe the rebuff experienced at the hands of a widow by the 
journeyman Tom Drum, who, previously, had been an unfailing 
diplomat in affairs of the heart. Tom's character is touched 
with exquisite humour, whiie he has a pretty turn of verse, 
which he exploits on his road to London, as follows: 

The primrose in the grene forest, 
The violets they be gay, 
The double dazies and the rest 
That trimly deck the way, 
Doth move the spirits with brave delight 
Who beauty's darlings be, 
With hey tricksie, trim go tricksie 
Under the greenwood tree. 

The last story is concerned with tavern-haunters and the 
decayed race of minstrels. In it appears the figure of Anthony 

His Literary Characteristics 

Now-Now, one of the last of his tribe, from whose lips come the 
following lines with their significant burden: 

When should a man shew himself gentle and kind ? 
When should a man comfort the sorrowful mind? 
0 Anthony, now, now, now. 
When is the best time to drink with a friend? 
When is it meetest my money to spend? 
0 Anthony, now, now, now. 

In these works of Deloney, there is much that differs 
materially from all previous types. Deloney, obviously, is far 
removed from Lyly, though he, too, produces novels of man- 
ners, but it is the bourgeois type which he handles, the city, 
not the court; he writes to amuse rather than to instruct, and 
humour, not wit, is the main ingredient of his style. He has 
reminiscences of the romance and its peculiar style, but they 
form no real part of his production as a whole; he succumbs to 
Euphuism when he diverges from his real path, and these 
Euphuistic passages are precisely those which reveal his limi- 
tations, namely, an occasional want of taste and an inability 
to deal xvith certain situations which he creates. This is 
clearly seen in the stilted character of all the love-passages and 
in the unreal effect of the quasi-pathetic scene in Thomas of 
Reading. Romantic themes, moreover, are as uncongenial to 
him as is the romantic style. Passion lies outside his ken: 
to him, love is rather a matter of side-splitting laughter, a 
creator of absurd situations, a provoker of rough practical 
jokes. His characters, therefore, have but little in common 
with Greene's feminine creations, with Sidney's Arcadians, 
or with Lodge's sylvan lovers. Nor does his work stand much 
nearer to the rogue-novel of Nashe, though it deals abundantly 
in practical jokes; for, while in the picaresque type these jests 
form the narrative and are an end in themselves, in Deloney 
they aim at describing manners, at affording an insight into 
contemporary life, or they are a device for inserting light inter- 
lude into the body of the narrative. And, moreover, the hero, 
in Deloney, is by no means a rogue: he is endowed, on the con- 
trary, with perhaps more than his share of virtue. 
The influences which seem to have decided the actual form 

Elizabethan Prose Fiction 

proper perspective, it presents a record of experiment rather 
than of achievement; by the side of the drama, it is crude in 
form, almost futile in effect. But the greatness of the drama 
was closely bound up with temporary conditions, among which 
was a theatre liberally patronised, important in social life 
and standing in close touch with the life of the people. And 
then there was the public, intensely fond of "shows," and 
finding in them what it was unable to gather from the 
written word ; a public, moreover, long accustomed to dramatic 
representation, and whose idealistic temperament demanded 
poetic form. These conditions were not to be permanent, 
and the future lay vith a type of work which provided enter- 
tainment independent of these aids. It is in the prose fiction 
of the time that the beginnings of this type are found, and this 
historical interest is its first claim to recognition. 
As to its actual achievement, one has to confess that this is 
comparatively small, for it worked from no model and was 
inspired by no tradition. It was wanting in coherent form 
and definite purpose; its plots lacked logical development, the 
threads of a story might be hopelessly confused; its characters 
were stiff and formal, and its style was not always adapted 
to the matter in hand. Nor can it be said to treat, as yet, the 
problems of life; it was content, for the most part, with simple 
narrative, with rough outlines of character and with studies 
of manners. But it improved its methods as it went on, it 
experimented in styles both simple and ornate, it made use of 
dialogue and it realised something of the wit and humour, as 
well as the descriptive power, of which prose was capable. 
In its own age, it appealed to both the court and the people, 
and it was later social considerations which determined its 
future line of progress. The courtly and heroic elements were 
to pass with the Stuarts; but the more popular elements were 
to be taken up in Addison's day by the growing middle class, 
and, with ever-widening province and increasing art, were to 
result in the novel as we now "know it. 


The Marprelate Controversy 

HE fashion of printed discussion did not become general 
in England before the reign of Elizabeth. Previous to 
her day, the chapbook and the broadside, 'ehicles of 
popular literature, had contained little beyond attractive 
romances or exciting pieces of news in ballad-form. Not until 
a great party, eager to proclaim and to defend its principles, 
arose in the nation, were the possibilities of the printing press, 
as an engine in the x-arfare of opinion, fully realised. The 
puritan movement cannot, of course, be held responsible for 
every one of those countless pamphlets in x-hich the age of 
Shakespeare was rich, but it is not too much to say that, ex- 
cluding purely personal squabbles, there is hardly a single con- 
troversy of the time x-hich is not directly or indirectly traceable 
to it. The revolution of the seventeenth century xYas both 
religious and social, and it is important to bear in mind that 
the pamphlet campaign preceding it shared its double character. 
The religious and doctrinal tracts of the puritan controversial- 
ists lie, for the most part, outside the literary field. One series, 
however, x'holly theological in intention, has x'on a place in 
the annals of literature by originality of stx-le and pungency 
of satire, and by the fact that the first English no'elist and the 
greatest Elizabethan pamphleteer took up the fallen gauntlet. 
These, the so-called Marprelate tracts, x-hich gave rise to the 
most famous controversy of the period, form the topic of the 
present chapter. 

The origin of the Marprelate controversy, interesting as 
it may be to the church historian, is far removed from the 
atmosphere of general literature, and must, therefore, be in- 
dicated as briefly as possible. Under the weak archbishop 

426 The Marprelate Controversy 

Grindal, the puritan, 1 or, as it was later called, the presbyterian, 
doctrine had been making great strides among the clergy of 
the church of England. John Whitgift, long -known as an 
uncompromising opponent of puritanism, was raised to the 
throne of Canterbury in 583, only just in time to prevent the 
English reformation from following in the course already 
marked out by the Scottish. As it was, matters had gone so 
far that Whitgift found it necessary to adopt the most stringent 
measures, if the destinies of the church were to be taken out of 
puritan hands. The most important of these, from our present 
point of view, was the decree which he procured, in 586, 
from the Star chamber, forbidding the publication of any 
book or pamphlet unless previously authorised by himself 
or the bishop of London, giving him full control over the 
Stationers' company, empowering him to determine the 
number of printing presses in use, and, finally, reviving a 
previous law imposing the severest penalties on the printing 
of seditious or slanderous books. In this way, he hoped to 
stem the ever-rising tide of puritan pamphlets, and so to 
prevent the spread of doctrines which he considered heretical. 
The 3Iarprelate tracts were the direct outcome of the feeling 
of indignation at his relentless policy of repression, and they 
appeared in defiance of the newly created censorship. Episco- 
pacy, as an institution, had always been obnoxious to the 
puritans; it became doubly so now, as the political instru- 
ment of their persecution. Elizabeth, while sanctioning, and 
heartily approving of, Whitgift's ecclesiastical policy, was well 
content to allow all the unpopularity resulting from it to light 
upon his shoulders; and the civil authorities, reluctant to 
persecute the puritans, withheld their support from the bishops, 
and so forced them to fall back upon the resources of their own 
prerogatives, and to strain these to the uttermost. Excuses 
may, therefore, be found for both sides. Defenders of the 
establishment were placed in an extremely difficult and dis- 
agreeable position, vhile puritans cannot be blamed for con- 
vetting an attack on episcopacy in general into a diatribe 
against individual members of the episcopate. After ten years 

 The term "puritan" at this early period of the movement, was of al- 
most entirely doctrinal implication, and denoted one who supported the 
socalled "church discipline." 

Udall's "Diotrephes" 429 

accusing her by implication, seeing that the bishops derived all 
the civil authority they possessed from her. Penry attempted 
to solve the problem by turning the tables upon his adversaries 
and accusing them of treason for laying the queen open to the 
possibility of such slanders. It was this that seems to have 
roused the archbishop's anger; though, as it was not in itself 
sufficient cause for conviction, the argument passed muster and 
reappears in the writings of Udall and in the Marprelate tracts. 
John Udall's personal connection with Martin xvas much 
slighter than Penry's; but a small tractate of his, published 
anonymously and printed without authority in April, 588, 
holds a more important place in the history of the Marprelate 
controversy than anything Penry is known to have written. 
Even were it not so, The State of the Church of Englandc or, 
as it is generally called, Diotrephes, would still be worthy of 
notice in a history of literature. King James is said to have 
considered Udall "the greatest scholar in Europe," and 
Diotrephes shows him to have possessed humour as well as 
scholarship. The dialogue in which the tract is written is, at 
times, handled a little crudely; but the delineation of the time- 
serving publican, the cunning papist and the worldly bishop, 
tolerant to all save those who threaten his privileges, is a 
distinctly clever piece of work. There is no mistaking Udall's 
intentions. He puts a stern denunciation of bishops and a 
defence of the new presbyterian discipline into the mouth of 
Paul, a solemn and somewhat sententious "preacher"; while 
the moral of the dialogue is that, while episcopacy is the 
root of all social and religious evils, popery is the root of epis- 
copacy. A certain air of quietness and assurance about the 
whole contrasts favourably with the boisterous spirit of rail- 
lery in which Martin approaches the same topics. Diotrephes 
must take its place as the first and most thoughtful of the 
puritan pamphlets in the controversy. 
If The Aequity was seized and its author cast into prison, 
mercy could certainly not be expected for Diotrephes, which 
was infinitely more outspoken and dangerous. For the time, 
Udall, who held the living of Kingston-on-Thames, preserved 
his anonymity; and the whole weight of Whitgift's wrath fell 
upon the printer, Robert Waldegrave. This man, who was 
to play an extremely important part in the struggle that 

The Story of the Press 431 

It is now time to turn to ,Iartin himself, and consider the 
history of the secret printing press, which, like a masked gun, 
dropped shell after shell into the episcopal camp. The type 
that Waldegrave had rescued from the hands of the authorities 
was conveyed to the London house of a certain Mistress Crane, 
a well known puritan, where it remained, according to the 
evidence of her servant, for two or three months, that is, 
until June. It is somewhat difficult to follow Waldegrave's 
movements after the raid in April, as the information we 
possess about the Marprelate press before November 588 is 
very scanty and untrustworthy. The seizure of the copies of 
Diotrephes probably necessitated its reissue; and, as there are 
two distinct impressions extant, it is legitimate to suppose that 
the printer, for some of this time, was engaged upon this task. 
A close examination of the lettering and workmanship of 
the tract, together with hints let fall by those examined by the 
authorities in their investigation of the affair, support the 
belief that it was printed by Waldegrave on a press and with 
type belonging to Penry and secreted at Kingston-on-Thames, 
of which tovn Udall was then parish priest. Hardby, at the 
village of East Molesey, was Mistress Crane's country-house, 
whither the rescued type was brought in June, and, at the 
same time, or in September, the black-letter in which the first 
four Marprelate tracts were to be printed. On o June, the pur- 
suivants had been at Kingston-on-Thames, looking for Walde- 
grave; but, as they had failed to fred him, he had probably 
moved to East Molesey by that date. Certainly, in July, he 
was hard at work there upon a fresh tract by Udall, entitled 
A Demonstration of Disc@line. This pamphlet possesses none 
of the literary interest of Diotrephes, being little more than a 
bald summary of the puritan arguments against episcopacy. 
Its author, it may be noticed in passing, was, about this time, 
deprived of his living because of his outspoken sermons, and is, 
for that reason, perhaps, much more bitter here than in the 
earlier tract. Penry, also, either from East Molesey or Kings- 
ton, issued a second and third edition of his Exhortatio and 
a reply to one Dr. Some, who had published an answer to the 
first edition. It soon, however, became evident that some- 
thing besides arguments for church discipline and pleas for 
Wales was being hatched in this little nest of puritans in the 

43 9. The Marprelate Controversy 

Thames valley. The first Marprelate tract, commonly known 
as The Epistle, was printed by Waldegrave under Penry's 
supervision at Mistress Crane's house, and issued in October 
or at the beginning of the next month. It burst upon the 
world with surprising effect. Early in November, "Martin" 
vas a name in everyone's mouth. So great, indeed, was the 
stir that, on the 4th, we find Burghley, by royal command, 
vriting an urgent letter to Whitgift, bidding him use all the 
means in his power to bring the authors to book. Penry 
had foreseen the coming storm, and the Thames valley had 
long been under the eye of the pursuivants. On i November, 
therefore, Waldegrave was already in Northamptonshire and 
his press on the road behind him. 
It was natural that the press should gravitate into this 
district. Penry, on 8 September, had married a lady of 
Northampton and made his home there; and there was another 
and no less important reason for the direction taken. At a 
village, called Hasely, lying a little to the north-west of War- 
wick and, therefore, no very great distance from Northampton, 
dwelt a certain Job Throckmorton, who had, probably, much 
to do with the production of the tracts. The place to which the 
press and printer were removed xvas the house of Penry's 
friend, Sir Richard Knightley, at Fawsley, twelve miles from 
Northampton on the Warwick side and, therefore, easily 
accessible both to Penry and Throckmorton. Notwithstanding 
the strictest secrecy obser'ed by all, it was found impossible 
to remain long there. During the stay, only one tract, so far as 
we -know, was printed--" the second Martin," known as The 
Epitome. This, the longest but one of Martin's productions, 
was printed, distributed and already in the archbishop's hands, 
before 6 December: possibly, therefore, it had been partially 
printed before the move from Molesey. Its appearance led 
the authorities to redouble their efforts to discover the wander- 
ing press. On 9 January, 589, a pursuivant made a raid 
on Penry's house at Northampton, carrying off his papers; 
and, in February, a proclamation was issued against "sundry 
schismatical and seditious bookes, diffamatorie Libels and 

 "The Date of the second Marprelate Tract." W. Pierce, Jourml Worth- 
ants. Nat. Hist. Soc. vol. x, p. to 3. Brook's Lives o[ the Puritans (xSx3) ' 
vol. , p. 423. 

Style and Character of the Tracts 435 

he became royal printer to king James. 1 Soon after The 
Protestation appeared, Penry, also, fled to Scotland, possibly 
travelling in Waldegrave's company. Their departure was 
only just in time. Henry Sharpe, a bookbinder of Northamp- 
ton, on 15 October, revealed to the lord chancellor the whole 
story of the Marprelate press, whereupon Sir Richard Knight- 
ley, Hales and the Wigstons were arrested. 2 At the end of the 
year, Udall, who had left Kingston for Newcastle in December, 
i588, was summoned to London and there cast into prison. 
Some two and a half years later, Penry returned to England and 
joined the separatists. Not long after, he was arrested, and, 
on 29 May, i593 , was hanged on a trumped up charge of 
treason, thus paying with his life for the part he had taken 
in the Marprelate controversy. His partner, Job Throck- 
morton, who, probably, was far more guilty than he, swore, at 
the trial, that "he was not Martin and knew not .Martin"; 
and it was only in 1595, when the storm had blown over, that 
the real nature of his connection with the Marprelate press 
seems to have been realised. 
Of the extant Marprelate tracts there are seven. Others, 
we know from contemporary evidence, had found their way 
into print or had been circulated in manuscript, but, unfortu- 
nately, they have not survived. Those xve have, however, are 
quite sufficient to give a clear idea of Martin's methods and 
style. His chief aim was to cover the bishops with ridicule, 
but the first two tracts were, ostensibly, written in reply 
to a recent apologetic for the episcopal cause, entitled A 
Defence of the Government established in the Church of England 
[or ecclesiastical matters, and "very briefly comprehended," 
as l\Iartin puts it, "in a portable book, if your horse be not too 
veake, of an hundred threescore and twelve sheets of good 
Demie paper," running, that is, into more than fourteen hun- 
dred quarto pages of text. Written by the laborious, but 
worthy, John Bridges, dean of Sarum, in hope of preferment, 
as Martin asserts, it was a thorough and well-intentioned at- 
tempt to stem the flood of puritan discipline tracts by flinging a 
huge boulder into the stream. The rock-hurling Goliath from 
Salisbury was too ponderous for the ordinary carving process, 
 The Library, October, 9o7, pp. 337-359- 
: An account of their trial is given in State Trials, vol. , no. 67. 

43 6 The Marprelate Controversy 

and the only possible weapon to use against him was the stone 
and sling of ridicule. For such varfare, Martin was eminently 
qualified. A puritan who had been born a stage clown, he 
was a disciple both of Calvin and Dick Tarleton. His style 
is that of a stage monologue. It floxvs with charming spon- 
taneity and naturalness. Now, with a great show of mock 
logic, he is proving that the bishops are petty popes; now, 
he is telling stories to their discredit; now, he is rallying 
"masse Deane Bridges" on his "sweet learning," his argu- 
ments and his interminable sentences. All this is carried on 
with the utmost vivacity and embroidered with asides to the 
audience and a variety of "patter" in the form of puns, 
ejaculations and references to current events and persons of 
popular rumour. Whether Martin were blasphemous or not, 
must be decided by each reader in the light of his own particu- 
lar tenets. Certainly, he must be exculpated from any inten- 
tion of the sort, the very nature of his plea precluding such 
a possibility. Personal, he undoubtedly was. He sets out 
with the object of lampooning the bishops of the day and 
frankly admits that such is his r61e in the general puritan 
campaign: "you defend your legges against Martins strokes, 
while the Puritans by their Demonstration crushe the re13 r 
braine of your Bishopdomes"--a remark which seems to 
indicate that the publication of Udall's Demolstration of 
Discipliw, simultaneously with The Epistlc, was no mere 
accident. Yet there is nothing that can be called definitely 
scurrilous in his treatment of the bishops, with the excep- 
tion of his cruel reference to bishop Cooper's domestic 
misfortunes. They are "pernicious," "pestilent," "wainscot- 
faced," "tyrannical," sometimes "beasts," "patches" and 
"dunces," occasionally, even, "bishops of the devil," but all 
this is part of the usual polemical vocabulary of the dab'; 
indeed, Barrow the separatist did not hesitate to use such 
expressions to Whitgift's very face. Martin's wit is a little 
coarse and homely, but never indecent, as the anti-Martinist 
pamphlets were. Speaking of the argumentative methods of 
Bridges, he says" "He can now and then without any noyse 
alledge an author clean against himself, and I warrant you 
wipe his mouth cleanly and look another way as though it had 
not been he"--which may stand as a type of his peculiar 

"The Epistle" 437 

vein of humour. His shafts are winged with zest, not with 
bitterness. "Have at you!" he shouts, as he is about to make 
a sally, and, again, "Hold my cloake there somebody that I may 
go roundly to worke"; for he evinces, throughout, the keenest 
delight in his sport among the "catercaps." This effect of 
boisterousness is enhanced by various tricks of expression and 
arrangement. The tracts present no appearance of any set 
plan, they are reeled off with the utmost volubility, at the top 
of the voice, as it were, and are scattered up and down with 
quaint marginal notes and parentheses. All this reveals a 
whimsical and original literary personality utterly unlike 
anything we find in the attested writings of Penry or Udall. 
Yet, it must not be supposed that the tracts are nothing but 
"quips and quidities." These are only baits to catch the 
reader and lure him on into the net of puritan argument. 
Most of them contain serious passages, sometimes of great 
length, expounding the new discipline. 
Leaving general considerations, we may now turn and 
briefly observe the main characteristics of each tract. The 
Epistle, intended, as its lengthy and amusing title implies, 1 
as an introduction to a forthcoming epitome of the dean of 
Sarum's apologetic, was, as we have seen, largely based on John 
Field's notes. It consists, therefore, for the most part, of those 
anecdotes relating to the bishops' private lives which are 
usually considered Martin's chief stock-in-trade, but which 
appear, in reality, very rarely in the later tracts. Some of 
them were, no doubt, untrue, and many were exaggerations of 
innocent incidents umvorthy of mention. Naturally enough, 
too, they principally concerned those prelates who had made 
themselves particularly obnoxious to the puritans, chief of 
whom were Whitgift of Canterbury, Aylmer of London and 
Cooper of Winchester. Besides this scandal, The Epistle 
contains many references to the grievances of the puritans, 
special attention being paid to the cases of Penry, Waldegrave 
and Udall, the last of whom admitted under examination, in 
i59o, that certain notes of his, concerning the archdeacon of 
Surrey and a usurer at Kingston, had found their way, without 
his knowledge, into the tract. Yet, whatever the origin of the 
materials, they are treated consistently throughout in one vein, 

See Bibliography. 

43 8 The Marprelate Controversy 

and no one reading The Epistle can doubt that its author was a 
single individual and not a puritan syndicate. 
It is not possible to speak with the same certainty of The 
Epitome, in which Martin tmdertakes the trouncing of Bridges 
promised in The Epistle. It contains some of those serious 
passages before mentioned, in which it is open for critics to 
see a second hand at work, though it would be difficult, on 
such a hypothesis, to decide in every case where Martin left off 
and his collaborator began. The tract sets out on its title- 
page, which is practically identical with that of The Epistle, 
to be an epitome of the first book of Bridges; but, as before 
suggested, it is doubtful whether Martin ever seriously intended 
to do more than play with the worthy dean. A few extracts 
are quoted from his book and ridiculed, or, occasionally, an- 
swered, in the quasi-logical fashion that is one of the character- 
istics of Martin's style; but a larger portion of the tract is, in 
reality, devoted to Aylmer, bishop of London. This prelate 
was considered a renegade by the puritans and was, accordingly, 
even more in disfavour with them than Whitgift. As has 
been seen, 1 Aylmer had written a book in reply to Knox's 
First Blast of the Trumpet. In this, he had found occasion to 
inveigh against the worldliness and wealth of the Marian 
bishops, and even to imply disapproval of their civil authority. 
It was easy to turn such words against their tmlucky author, 
now comfortably ensconced in the see of London and wielding 
the civil authority against the puritans; and Martin made the 
most of his opportunity. For the rest, The Epitome exhibits 
the same characteristics as its predecessor, though it more 
frequently lapses into a serious vein. There is one fresh 
touch of humour that is worth notice. The tract contains on 
the last page some errata, the nature of which may best be 
gathered from the first, which begins' ' Wheresoex'er the prelates 
are called my Lords.. in this Epitome, take that for 
a fault." 
Soon after the appearance of the second Marprelate tract, 
Thomas Cooper, bishop of Winchester, took up the cudgels for 
the episcopal side, in his Admonition to the People o England. 
Far from discouraging Martin by his grave condemnation, the 
worthy bishop played straight into the satirist's hands and 

See ante, p. 164- 

"The Protestation" 44i 

with a solemn diatribe, against episcopacy, a reference to 
the "slackness of the Puritans," a proposal to present a pe- 
tition to the queen and privy council, and, lastly, an answer 
to the anti-Martinist rimes in 3Iar-Martiw, doggerel for 
At this juncture, the bishops succeeded, at last, in silencing 
their voluble antagonist by seizing his press and arresting his 
printers at .Manchester. Martin died with defiance on his lips. 
His last tract, The Protestation, plunges at once into the question 
of the late capture, declares that it can do Martin no harm 
as the printers do not know him and proceeds to rail against 
the bishops as inquisitors and butchers. It is noticeable that 
Martin has almost entirely dropped his comic tone; and, as if 
he realised that the time for such a tone had passed, he em- 
phatically declares "that reformation cannot well come to our 
church without blood "--a phrase which, while it ostensibly 
refers to the blood of the martyrs, leaves it open for the reader 
to understand the blood of the bishops. He bids his readers 
believe "that by the grace of God the last yeare of 'Martinisme' 
shall not be till full two years after the last year of 
Lambethisme," a prophecy which received a curious fulfilment 
in the appearance of a pamphlet in imitation of Martin a year 
after Laud's execution. The climax of the whole tract is 
reached in the "protestation," or challenge, to the bishops 
to hold a public disputation upon the points of disagreement 
between puritan and prelate, its author proclaiming his readi- 
ness to come forward as the public champion of the puritan 
cause, for which, should he fail, he is willing to forfeit his 
The Protestation is, strictly speaking, the last of the seven 
Marprelate tracts that have come down to us. But there is an 
eighth, A Dialogue, printed by Waldegrave in the summer of 
589, which, obviously, is Martinist in sympathy and purpose, 
and which deserves mention even if it cannot claim a place 
among the other seven. In  643, it is interesting to notice, it 
was reprinted under the title of The Character o a Puritan . 
by Martin Marlyrelate; so that there was evidently a tradition 
which assigned it to our jester-puritan. The style of the whole 
is quite unlike Martin's; but it may be that the dialogue form 
would put considerable restraint upon his natural exuberance. 

442 The Marprelate Controversy 

This very form suggests that maker of dialogues, John Udall. t 
He had spoken the prologue to the Marprelate drama in his 
Diotrefhes; it would seem fitting, therefore, that the epilogue 
should be his also. But, however this may be, the tract, if not 
Martin's, is interesting as a proof that there was at least one 
puritan who sympathised with his methods. "The Puritanes 
like of the matter I have handled but the forme they cannot 
brooke," our tractarian writes in Martin Junior; and it is 
worthy of notice that, while he constituted himself the spokes- 
man of puritanism, he was far from being in touch with its 
spirit. The "preachers," as we have seen, looked with great 
disfavour on his levity. Thomas Cartwright, the leader of the 
movement, was careful to dissociate himself at the very outset 
from any suggestion of sympathy with him. Richard Green- 
ham, another celebrated puritan and tutor of the still more 
celebrated Browne, actually went so far as to preach against 
The Epistle in a sermon delivered at St. Mary's, Cambridge. 
"The tendency of this book is to make sin ridiculous, when it 
ought to be made odious ;" so ran the text of his condemnation. 
These words lay bare the very springs of puritanism and teach 
us not only why Martin failed to win puritan support, but, also, 
xvhy the whole movement, despite its many obvious excellences, 
did not succeed, in the long run, in winning over the most 
intellectual forces of the nation. The puritans banished the 
comic muse from England. She returned, in 166o, as the 
handmaid of Silenus. 
Before turning to the answers that lXIartin evoked from the 
episcopalians, a few remarks may be hazarded as to the author- 
ship of the series of pamphlets that bear his name. An attempt 
has been made to father them on Henry Barrow, the separatist, 
whom the congregationalists regard as one of the founders of 
their church, and who, at the time, was lying in the Fleet. 
The theory is ingenious, but quite untenable. The Marprelate 
tracts were the product of the presbyterian, and not of the 
independent, or separatist, movement. Udall, Field, Walde- 
grave, all who were known to have been connected with the 
production of the tracts, were "church discipline" men, 
who wished to reform the church from within. True, Penry 
, There is, however, nothing else about the tract to suggest Udall's 

The Authorship of the Tracts 443 

joined the separatists in i592, but, by that time, Martin Mar- 
prelate was ancient history. Further than this, it has recently 
been pointed out that Hay any worke contains a passage in 
reference to the question of tithe-taking which could not 
possibly have been written by a separatist. 1 In point of fact, 
most authorities are now agreed that the choice lies between 
Throckmorton and Penry. Possibly, the tracts, which ex- 
hibited tvo styles, or, at least, two moods, were the result of 
their combined energies. Two critics, with a special -knowled:e 
of Penry's writings, have rejected the theory of his identity 
with "Martin" in the strongest terms;2 but, as they are here 
obviously alludingto Martin the humourist, their disclaimer does 
not really affect the possibility of Penry's responsibility for the 
theological passages, though there is absolutely no evidence 
involving him even to this limited extent. On the other hand, 
there seem to be very strong reasons, even if they do not amount 
to actual proof, for assigning at least the comic portions of 
the tracts to Job Throckmorton. In 589, Waldegrave had 
printed a tract entitled M. Some laid open in ]is couhrs, which, 
almost without doubt, is Throckmorton's,a though the signa- 
ture I. G. at the end has led many critics to attribute it to 
John Greenwood, Barrow's friend and fellow prisoner--a theory 
which, like that ascribing the Marprelate tracts to Barrc,w, 
collapses before the theological test. Dr. Some was a busy 
controversialist on the Whitgiftian side, and this pamphlet 
against him was one link in another chain of polemical writings, 
the particulars of which it is not necessary to examine here. 
Suffice it to remark that Some attacked both Penry and Barrow; 
and, therefore, it is probable that the author of M. Some 
laid open, who had no desire to divalge his identity, intention- 
ally adopted Greenwood's initials in order to throw dust into 
the eyes of the authorities. Style may be a doubtful touch- 
stone for the test of authorship; but one cannot conceive that 
anyone familiar with the tracts of Martin could fail to see 
the same hand in 31. Some laid open. In every way, it is 
t Powicke, He,try Barrow, pp. 82-85, which contain valuable information 
in reference to this question of authorship. 
 Waddington, John Pery, and Greive, The Acquity. 
 Sutcliffe's Answere to Job Throckmortot (Arber, Sketch, p. x79). It 
should be admitted, however, that not all authorities are inclined to trust 
Sutcliffe's statements to the same extent as the present writer. 

The Dramatic and Literary Replies 

references, chiefly retrospective, in the pamphlets issued on 
both sides. 1 These scattered hints lead us to infer that Martin 
had figured upon the London stage in at least two plays, 
if not more. In one of them, apparently a species of coarse 
morality, he appeared as an ape attempting to violate the 
lady Divinity. Another, which was played at the Theatre, 
seems to have been more in the nature of a stage pageant 
than a regular drama. Other Ilays may have been acted ; but 
the authorities, finding this public jesting with theological 
topics unseemly, appear to have refused to license any more 
after September, and, early in November, pug a definite stop 
to those already licensed and any others that may have defied 
the censor. Bug the suppression of the anti-Martinist plays 
could not banish the topic from the stage. Martin was the 
puritan of popular imagination, and the dramas of the time 
are full of references to him. 
Mean'hile, there had been a renewed outburst of anti- 
Martinist pamphlets, this time in prose. The first of the new 
series, .4 Countcrcuffe given to Martin Junior, published under 
the pseudonym of Pasquill, on or about 8 August, was a direct 
answer to Theses Martinianae and, at the same time, served as 
a kind of introductory epistle to the tracts that followed, being 
but four pages in length. Pasquill announces that he is pre- 
paring two books for publication, The Owlcs Almanack and 
The Lives of the Saints. The latter is to consist of scandalous 
tales relating to prominent puritans, to collect which the author 
has "posted very diligently all over the Realme." Whether 
he ever thus turned the tables upon .Martin, we do not -know; 
but one promise made in this tract was certainly fulfilled. 
Before the conclusion, Martin Junior is warned to expect 
shortly a commentary upon his epilogue, with epitaphs for his 
father's hearse. This refers to Martins Months IlIiwle, and 
it is worth noticing that the writer claims no responsibility 
for it as he does for the other tvo. 
Martins Months llindc, by far the cleverest and most 
amusing of the anti-3Iartinist tracts, in all probability sav 
 The following are the chief contemporary references to anti-3Iartinist 
plays: Martin Junior, sig. D ii; The Protestation, p. 4; McKerrow'- Naslw, 
vol. I, pp. 59, 83,9 , ioo, IO7; vol. IXI, p. 354; Grosart's Nashe, vol. I, p. I75, 
and Harvey, vol. , p. 3 ; Bond's Lyly, vol. I, pp. 398, 408; Plaint Percevall 
(Petherarn's reprint, 86o), p. x6. 

The Pamphlets of the Harveys 449 

of Martinism together. A description of a puritan service at 
Ashford, Kent, leads us to suppose that the author of A Cou n- 
tercuHe may, indeed, have carried out his intention of posting 
over England for news of the Martinists, and we have further 
references to the two books containing his experiences already 
promised. The tract concludes with a brief reply to The 
Protestation, containing, it is interesting to observe, a eulogy on 
Two new writers now joined their voices to the general 
wrangle, Gabriel Harvey and his brother Richard, and their 
entry was the beginning of yet another controversy, to which 
the poet Greene contributed just before his death, and which 
was eventually fought out over his dead body by Nashe and 
Gabriel Harvey. A detailed description of this dispute would 
carry us too far from the present subject, 1 and we must here 
confine our attention to its opening stage, which alone con- 
cerns the matter in hand. In order, we may conjecture, to 
add a little flavour to the somewhat thankless task Bancroft 
had imposed upon him, Lyly, in his Pappe, had deliberately 
challenged Harvey to enter the Marprelate lists. Harvey 
at once took up the gauntlet in his Advertisement to Papp- 
Hatchet; but the writing of it seems to have cooled his anger, 
for it was not published until  593, when, in other ways, he had 
involved himself in a quarrel with the literary free-lances of 
London. His pamphlet, when it appeared, was found to be 
more of a personal attack than a contribution to the general 
controversy, concerning which it assumes an air of academic 
impartiality, dealing out blows to both parties in that "crab- 
tree cudgell style" vhich we associate with its author, and 
displaying as ostentatiously as may be his learning and wide 
knowledge of theology. His brother Richard, it may be at his 
suggestion, now followed suit, though scarcely with the same 
impartial spirit, in A Theologicall Discourse o the Lamb o 
God and his ewmies, wherein the "new Barbarisme" of Martin 
is shown to be nothing but an old heresy refurbished. 
The Theologicall Discourse is mainly interesting for its 
"Epistle to the Reader," which contained a passage apparently 
vilifying the littOrateurs of the day under the name of the 
"make plaies and make bates" of London. This roused Greene, 
 See Bibliography. 
VOL. III.--. 

452 The Marprelate Controversy 

greater satirist whose Tale o[ a Tub was a brilliant attack upon 
all forms of religious controversy. Martin's style exercised 
an immediate and appreciable influence upon his contem- 
poraries--a point that has hitherto scarcely been noticed-- 
for Nashe, at this period, was a young writer whose style 
was hardly formed; and, though he afterwards proudly boasted 
"that the vaine which I have is of my owne begetting and 
cals no man father in England but myself," 1 yet it is im- 
possible not to see that the most modern and most racy prose 
writer of the Elizabethan age owed a considerable debt to 
"olde Martin Makebate," in contest with whom he won his 
spurs. The famous Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum were some 
seventy years earlier than the Marprelate tracts and rank much 
higher as literature. It is not, however, fair to compare the de- 
liberate creation of some of the protagonists of German human- 
ism with hasty and ill-digested attacks upon episcopacy, struck 
off from a travelling printing press. Much the same may be 
said of the Satyre ,IOnippOe, which is frequently quoted as a 
parallel to its English contemporary. It was a curious coin- 
cidence that remarkable satires should appear in England 
and France almost simultaneously, but there was no connection 
and very little similarity between the two. The Satyre 
Mgnippie was political in intention, the Marprelate tracts 
religious. The group of poliliques who were responsible for 
the French satire represented the common-sense of France tired 
of the tyranny of the League and the long unrest of past 3"ears. 
Their work was an epitaph on an already fallen foe and the 
laugh it elicited was one of relief and of hope. To .Martin, 
on the other hand, it was given to be one of the first to blow 
the trumpet against the episcopal Jericho which, when at last it 
fell, involved the monarchy in its ruins. Few, even of those 
of his own party, sympathised with him or understood him, 
but, when the hour of victory came, some were found to 
remember his service in the cause. 

t McKerrow's Nashe, vol. I, p. 319 . 


"Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity" 

HE London of the early days of Elizabeth has been de- 
scribed as a city of ruins. On ever5" side lay the wreck 
of some religious house which had perished in the days 
of the dissolution, and had not been supplanted by new edifices. 
This description of the capital may not inaptly be applied in 
a wider sense to the condition of England. For more than a 
generation, the work of destruction in every department of 
social and political life had been in progress; and, in religion, 
which then completely overshadowed all other human interests, 
the old order had collapsed, and the signs of its fall were on 
every side. The work before the statesmen and divines of the 
age was emphatically one of reconstruction, which had to be 
done in the midst of much turmoil and distraction, with foes on 
every side ready to criticise, to deride and, if possible, to de- 
stroy whatever was being erected. Perhaps the most striking 
and courageous act of the government of Elizabeth was to face 
the religious problem, a task on which, though complete suc- 
cess was impossible and serious failure would have been 
disastrous, the fate of the country largely depended. 
The destruction of the scholastic system of theolo', built 
up during the middle ages, left the nations of Europe without 
a theory either of government or religion; and the first results 
of the reformation had been a series of disastrous experiments 
in both spheres. Anabaptism and socinianism alike showed the 
need for protestantism to formulate and define its teaching; 
and the result was the rise of a new scholasticism. ]3ut for 
this, the entire reformation must have failed in face of the 
Catholic revival, which was rapidly gaining ground throughout 
Europe; and it is due to the genius of Calvin that a strong 

4s4 "Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity" 

barrier to its progress was erected. Calvin showed at Geneva 
that he possessed in an eminent degree the power of ruling men 
and of supplying the moral support for which they craved. 
He defined the limits of theological speculation; by his action 
in the matter of Servetus, he proclaimed to the world that he 
had no sympathy with any attempt to tamper with the funda- 
mentals of Christianity; whilst his Institutes, as was truly said, 
took the place of the Sentences of Peter Lombard as the ground- 
work of protestant theology. 
But the Genevan church showed itself every whir as master- 
ful and dogmatic as its Roman rival, and its actions were 
equally justified by an appeal to Divine authority. If the 
papal dogma rested on the rock of church tradition as defined 
by the successors of St. Peter, that of Geneva was based on 
the impregnable rock of Holy Scripture as interpreted by 
John Calvin. Both churches were agreed in demanding un- 
questioning obedience and in regarding the civil power as 
simply an instrument to carry out their decrees. In both, St. 
Augustine's ideal Civitas Dei was to be made as real a factor 
in human politics as circumstances would permit. The nations 
had practically to choose between two theocracies: the one, 
venerable with the unbroken tradition of ages; the other, 
full of the vigour of youth, the inspiration of genius and the 
confidence that the future of humanity lay in its hands. 
Elizabeth and her advisers deliberately refused to put England 
under either. 
What England needed most at the accession of Elizabeth 
was time. The nation was as yet unprepared to make its 
final decision in the matter of religion; it was exhausted by 
internal dissensions and a ruinous foreign policy; revolution 
and reckless experiments had rendered the church almost 
impotent. Lutheran protestantism, Genevan protestantism, 
Zwinglianism and the Catholic reaction had all been welcomed 
and found wanting; and the queen was resolved to have no 
more experiments. Rome meant Spain and the inquisition; 
Geneva, the repetition of the miseries and disorders of the reign 
of Edward VI; and the country was in equal dread of both. 
Moreover, it was not by any means certain that the divisions 
of the western church were yet permanent, or the breach 
between Rome and the northern nations irreparable. The 

The Elizabethan Settlement 455 

council of Trent had not concluded its sessions and there 
was still a hope, albeit a faint one, that the Roman church 
would so reform itself that reunion might be possible. The 
country had not yet made up its mind between the old relig- 
ion and the new; and which side it would adopt time and 
circumstances alone could show. 
Accordingly, with the general approval of the nation, Eliza- 
beth temporised; and the arrangement she made in ecclesiasti- 
cal matters was essentially of the nature of a compromise. The 
queen and her advisers had the wisdom to recognise the vital 
necessity of peace both at home and abroad, to give England 
time to recover from the disasters of the last two reigns. To 
have precipitated matters would have meant either a foreign 
or a domestic war--perhaps both. If peace were to be pre- 
served, it was essential to persuade Catholic and protestant 
alike that nothing final had been done; to allow Philip and 
Spain to look for the speedy reconciliation of England to the 
church without unduly damping the expectations of the re- 
formers, on whose support Elizabeth mainly relied. The result 
was the settlement of 1559 , by which the prayer-book and the 
communion service ere restored and episcopacy and such 
ancient ceremonies as were not absolutely incompatible with 
the new theology retained. No one believed, perhaps, that the 
religious policy of Elizabeth possessed any more elements of 
permanency than those of her predecessors; and the nation 
acquiesced in what had been done in confident expectation 
of further developments. 
Regarded from the purely political aspect, no legislation 
could have been more beneficial in its effects than that of 
the first parliament of Elizabeth. It saved England from the 
tyranny of a Spanish inquisition and from the horrors of the 
French wars of religion. It gave the country nearly ten years' 
respite from dangerous religious controversy and enabled it 
to enter upon a nev era of progress in almost evelT department 
of life. Seldom, if ever, has a religious policy animated by 
aims so secular as those of the government of Elizabeth proved 
so complete a success. But it could not do more than mitigate 
the evils it sought to avoid. It could save England from civil 
strife, but not from religious dissension. It was not to be 
expected that fervent enthusiasts on either side would be saris- 

456 "Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity" 

fled with what, after all, was little better than a compromise 
prompted by the wisdom of statesmen rather than by the 
spirituality of earnest seekers after the kingdom of God. 
Events, moreover, moved rapidly during the first years of 
Elizabeth. It soon became evident that the breach with 
Rome was final. The attitude of Paul IV towards the over- 
tures made by Elizabeth, the rebellion of the northern earls, 
the excommunication of the queen by Pius V and the Ridolfi 
conspiracy showed that all attempts on the part of the queen's 
government to leave a door open for reconciliation had hitherto 
failed, as they were destined to do, despite the attempts to 
bring about an amicable understanding with Rome which were 
continued to the last days of the queen's reign. Abroad, the 
counter-reformation had begun and soon the massacre of St. 
Bartholomew was to reveal the lengths to which the papal party 
was prepared to go. Protestantism had entered upon a 
struggle for existence with powerful and able opponents, 
united to crush it and guided with consummate strateg3". 
Against its enemy, the reformation had forces courageous 
and resolute enough, but divided into allnost hostile camps. 
Was, asked many an ardent reformer in England, his country 
to stand aside during the great contest, content with a luke- 
warm adherence to the new doctrines, intended to conciliate 
protestant and papist alike, and capable of satisfying neither? 
Such was the state of affairs when, in  572, Mr. Strickland, an 
aged gentleman, introduced a bill for the further reformation 
of the church. The queen promptly silenced interference in 
church matters in the House of Commons; but, henceforth, 
it became evident that a strong puritan party was coming 
forward with a well-thought-out scheme of church government 
in opposition to the Elizabethan settlement. 
The life of Calvin reads like one of the romances of ecclesias- 
tical history. Arriving at Geneva in  53 6, in the twenty-fifth 
year of his age, the young French priest found the little state 
just emerging from the throes of a successful revolution. The 
Genevans adapted their constitution, consisting of an ecclesias- 
tical superior, a lay vicegerent and the commonalty, to the new 
conditions by making a board of elders exercise the authority 
formerly in the hands of their bishop. The genius and firmness 
of Calvin caused a great moral, as well as social, revolution. 

The Life Work of Calvin 457 

Expelled by the citizens, who were exasperated by his severity, 
he returned in 1541 to carry on his work with renewed success. 
Holding at bay the papacy and the powerful house of Savoy, 
he raised Geneva to the position of the capital city of the 
reformed religion. Its university poured forth preachers of 
the new doctrines, men of learning animated with fiery zeal 
and undaunted by the fear of martyrdom. The city became 
the home of persecuted protestants from all parts of Europe. 
Calvin's writings formed the text-book of reformed theolog%. 
Nowhere did the English exiles receive a more hospitable 
reception than at Geneva, and it is little to be wondered that 
John Calvin was regarded by them with enthusiastic admira- 
tion. To these, the godly, orderly and strictly governed Swiss 
community was all that a church should be and furnished 
an ideal which they longed passionately to realise in their own 
country. It is difficult for men in our day, with their precon- 
ceived notion of Calvinism, as represented by its theology, to 
understand the extraordinary fascination which the church 
of Geneva exercised on the minds of those who had made the 
city their place of refuge in the days of persecution, as well as 
upon those to whom the order, piety and devotion of the 
Genevese were known only by hearsay. 
Hooker fully recognises this. To him, Calvin, the founder 
of the discipline of the church of Geneva, is "incomparably the 
wisest man that ever the French church did enjoy, since the 
hour it enjoyed him." There is, however, a touch of malice 
in his next sentences, characteristic alike of the author and of 
the profound scholar's attitude towards the learning of the 
man of affairs: "His bringing up was in the study of the civil 
law. Divine knowledge he gathered, not by hearing or reading 
so much, as by teaching others." Hooker, however, in his 
preface to Ecclesiastical Polity, does ample justice to the at- 
tractiveness of the Calvinian system, which the puritan party 
advocated in their Adtno,itioz to Parliamct. When this 
was first published (i 572), the Elizabethan church system had 
had thirteen years of trial and had not yet proved a con- 
spicuous success. At least, it had not united Englishmen in 
a single church. The Roman Catholics had left off attendance 
at the parish churches; the Independents had set up congrega- 
tions; and the puritan faction, which had, from the first, 

4s8 "Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity" 

regarded the established church polity as a temporary ex- 
pedient, felt justified both in expressing its grievances and in 
suggesting a remedy. The pamphlet in which this was done, 
supposed to be the work of two ministers, John Field and 
Thomas Wilcox, styled the Admonition to Parliament, is a 
document of singular ability, both in lucidity of statement 
and in vigour of language. It sets forth what is called "a 
true platforme of a church reformed," in order that all might 
behold "the great unlikeness betwixt it and this our English 
The Admonition is brief, well arranged and extremely 
trenchant. After declaring that the notes of a true church 
are "preaching the word purely, ministering of the sacraments 
sincerely, and ecclesiastical discipline which consisteth in 
admonition and correction of faults severlie" it treats of these 
three points in detail. As regards the ministry of the word, 
the writers are of opinion that the old clergy, "King Henries 
priests, king Edward's priests (omitted 2nd ed.), Queen 
Maries priests . . (yf Gods worde were precisely followed) 
should . be utterly removed." Parliament is exhorted to 

" remove Advowsons, Patronages, Impropriations, and bishoppes' 
authoritie, claiming to themselves therby right to ordaine ministers, 
and to bring in that old and true election, which was accustomed 
to be made by the congregation. You must," it goes on to say, 
"displace those ignorant and unable ministers already placed, 
and, in their rowrnes, appoint such as both can, and will, by God's 
assistance, feed the flock .... Remove homilies, articles, injunc- 
tions, a prescript order of service made out of the masse booke. 
Take away the Lordship, the loytering, the pompe, the idlenes, and 
livings of Bishops, but yet employ them to such ends as they were in 
the old churche apointed for. Let a lawful and a godly Seignorie 
look that they preache, not quarterly or monthly, but continually: 
not for filthy lucre's sake but of a ready mynde." 

The paragraph regarding the sacraments contrasts the prac- 
tice of the primitive church with that of the time. Of the 
Lord's Supper it says: 

They took it with conscience, we with custume. They shut out men 
by reason of their sinne . . we thruste them in their sinne to the 

The Puritan Position 459 

Lord's supper. They ministered the Sacrament plainely. We 
pompously with singing, pypying, surplesse and cope wearyng. 

The petition was that all irregular baptisms by deacons or 
midwives should be "sharplie punished," that communicants 
should be examined by elders, "that the statute against wafter 
cakes may more prevaile then an Injunction," that kneeling 
on reception of the sacrament should be abolished. But the 
most important demand was that, in true conformity with the 
Calvinian system, "Excommunication be restored to his old 
former force," and "that papists or other, neither constrainedly 
nor customably, communicate in the misteries of salvation." 
Discipline, rigorous and impartial, was the chief aim of the 
petitioners. The bishops and all their officials must be removed 
and complete equality of ministers be established. The whole 
regiment of the church is to be placed in the hands of ministers, 
seniors and deacons. These are to punish the graver sins, blas- 
phemy, usury (2nd ed. "drunkermesse"), adultery, whoredom, 
by a severe sentence of excommunication, uncommutable by 
any money payment. In a vigorous apostrophe, parliament is 
exhorted to imitate the example of the Scottish and French 
churches and thoroughly to root out popery. 

"Is," ask the petitioners, "a reformation good for France? and 
can it be evyl for England ? Is discipline meete for Scotland? and is 
it unprofitable for this Realme? Surely God hath set these ex- 
amples before your eyes to encourage you to go forward to a thorow 
and speedy reformation. Ye may not do as heretofore you have 
done, patch and piece, nay, rather, goe backward, and never labour 
or contend to perfection. But altogether remove whole Antichrist, 
both head, bodie, and branch, and perfectly plant that puritie of 
the word, that sirnplicitie of the sacraments, that severitie of dis- 
cipline, which Christ hath commanded and commended to his 

It has been necessary to dwell at some length on the subject 
of the Admonition, not only because it is an excellent specimen 
of the eloquence and vigour of prose composition during the 
early days of Elizabeth, but, also, because it practically states 
the whole case for the demands of the puritans during the 
period; and it is practically against these that Hooker is con- 
tending throughout his controversies with Cartwright and 

460 "Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity" 

Travers. There is, it must with justice be admitted, much 
to be said for the puritan demands for church reform. The 
abuses of the church courts, owing to the multiplicity of 
jurisdictions, were great; the new clergy, who had been ordained 
by the Elizabethan bishops, left much to be desired in both 
conduct and capacity; nor have the denunciations of the puri- 
tans regarding the expense of the cathedral establishments, the 
system of patronage and the like lacked the justification of 
subsequent experience. But had parliament been allowed to 
legislate as the puritans desired, the result would have been 
to set up an ecclesiastical tyranny which, inevitably, would 
have succeeded in damping the rising spirit of England, and, 
almost certainly, would have provoked a civil war. The 
puritans, like some other politicians of our own time, were 
aiming at an ideal state of society and were ready to allow the 
countD" to run any risk to secure its establishment. Expe- 
rience has shown that such an attempt always demands the 
sacrifice of personal liberty, and to this, Englishmen, especially 
under Elizabeth, were thoroughly averse. With the possibili- 
ties of life ever growing wider, with a country developing at 
a rate hitherto unprecedented, with a constantly expanding 
horizon of life and thought, England, then, despite her religious 
zeal, thoroughly humanistic, was not going to submit to a sys- 
tem which had only succeeded in a petty municipality like that 
of Geneva, and which was being experimentally adopted, with 
doubtful benefit to the country, by a nation so barbarous as 
the Scots were considered to be in the sixteenth century. 
Elizabeth understood her people far better than did parlia- 
ment when she resolutely opposed the discussion of the griev- 
ances of the puritans. 
Richard Hooker entered the lists almost a generation after 
the early puritans; and he did so, not so much as a churchman 
pleading the cause of ecclesiastical authority, as a representa- 
tive of humanistic Christianity and of the love of intellectual 
The facts of his life can be briefly related from Izaak Wal- 
ton's biography--a curious mixture of artless simplicity and 
consummate art, making the virtues of its subject the more 
conspicuous by darkening the background of family life and 
surroundings. Born in i553, at Heavitree, Exeter, Richard 

Richard Hooker 461 

Hooker came of good, though not noble or wealthy, stock, for 
his uncle John Hooker was a man of some note and chamber- 
lain of Chichester. By the influence of this relative, he ob- 
tained the patronage of another Devonian, John Jewel, bishop 
of Salisbury, and was enabled to enter Corpus Christi College, 
Oxford, becoming a fellow of the society in 577- Sandys, 
then bishop of London, made Hooker tutor to his son Edxvin, 
and he also had charge of George Cranmer, great nephew of 
the celebrated archbishop. In  58, when appointed to preach 
at Paul's Cross, Hooker, according to his biographer, made the 
fatal mistake of marrying his landlady's daughter. 

"There is," to quote Walton's quaint words, "a wheel within 
a wheel;" a secret sacred wheel of Providence (most visible in 
marriages), guided by His hand that "allows not the race to the 
swift" nor "bread to the wise," nor good wives to good men: and 
He that can bring good out of evil (for mortals are blind to this 
reason) only knows why this blessing was denied to patient Job, 
to meek Moses, and to our as meek and patient .XIr Hooker." 

In justice to Mrs. Hooker, it may be remarked that she and 
her family" seem to have belonged to the puritan party and, 
consequently, were extremely obnoxious to the high church 
friends of her husband, who seems always to have treated her 
with respect and to have named her executrix in his will. In 
1584, Hooker was presented to Drayton Beauchamp in Bucks, 
then in the diocese of Lincoln, and, in  585, after some dispute, 
he was given the mastership of the Temple, where he had his 
famous controversy with Walter Travers, the reader, "a dis- 
ciplinarian in his judgment and practice," who had received 
only" presbyterian ordination at Antwerp. It was at the 
Temple that Hooker began to plan his great work; and, wearied 
by his contentions with Travers, whom he admired as a man 
whilst differing from him as a divine, he petitioned archbishop 
Whitgift to relieve him of the mastership in order that he might 
study to complete "a Treatise in which I intend a justification 
of the Laws of our Ecclesiastical polity." Accordingly, in 159 I, 
Whitgift preferred him to the rectory of Boscombe, six miles 
from Salisbury; and, in 1595 , queen Elizabeth gave him the 
living of Bishopsbourne, three miles from Canterbury'. The 
first four books of the Polity were completed at Boscombe 

The Preface 463 

His contention is always for liberty. With much skill, and not 
a little quiet satire, he traces the popularity of the Calvinian 
discipline in England to a craving to exercise the right of 
private judgment, to the democratic spirit of the age and to the 
influence of women, as well as to reliance upon Scripture and 
the high spiritual pretensions claimed by its advocates. He 
discusses the inconsistency of the attempt to restore the exact 
condition of the apostolic age, and insinuates the impossibility 
of proving the existence of the so-called "discipline" of those 
days. "Of this very thing ye fail even touching that which ye 
make most account of, as being matter of substance in disci- 
pline, I mean the power of your lay elders, and the difference 
of your doctors from the pastors in all churches." As regards 
the existing law of England, Hooker points out that it must 
be obeyed without disputation; for, though a law may be 
changed, it is, he tells the puritans, "the deed of the whole 
body politic, vhereof if ye judge yourselves to be any part, then 
is the laxv your deed also"; and, on this account, he deems 
public discussion inadvisable under the circumstances of their 
age. After stating the subject of each book of his proposed 
work, he goes on to point out the dangers of the puritan move- 
ment. In the first place, he sees that it must necessarily 
cause a serious schism, and, indeed, though the puritans la- 
mented the secession of the Barrowists, these only followed out 
logically the teaching of the "disciplinarians" who, by their 
own admission, were continuing members of a church which 
they vere continually denouncing as "anti-christian." As 
for the "discipline" itself, Hooker believed that it could not 
be established vithout civil disturbance, as the nobility would 
never submit to the local tyranny of small parochial courts of 
spiritual jurisdiction, none of which acknowledged any superior 
judge on earth. Discipline at the universities would, neces- 
sarily, be at an end if puritan equality of ministers were to 
be established, and the secular courts would be completely 
superseded by the powers claimed by the new "discipline." 
Hooker, naturally, alludes to the dangers disclosed by the 
spread of anabaptism and concludes with an eloquent appeal 
to his opponents to consider their position: 

The best and safest way for you therefore, my dear brethren, 
is, to call your deeds past to a new reckoning, to re-examine the 

464 "Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity" 

case ye have taken in hand, and to try it even point by point, argu- 
ment by argument, with all the diligent exactness ye can; to lay 
aside the gall of that bitterness wherein your minds have hitherto 
over abounded, and with meekness to search the truth. Think 
ye are men, deem it not impossible for you to err; sift unpartially 
your own hearts, whether it be force of reason or vehemency of 
affection, which hath bred and still doth feed these opinions in you. 
If truth do anywhere manifest itself, seek not to smother it with 
glosing delusions, acknowledge the greatness thereof, and think 
it your best victory when the same doth prevail over you. 

This digniW of language, combined with singular moderation, 
is characteristic of Hooker, whose guiding principle in con- 
troversy may be summed up in his own words, "There will 
come a time when three words uttered with charity and meek- 
ness shall receive a far more blessed reward than three thousand 
volumes written with disdainful sharpness of wit." 
The first book, in some ways, is the most important of the 
whole work, because in it we see Hooker at his best in deal- 
ing broadly with principles. Before proceeding to discuss any 
matters of detail, he sets himself, with the aid of the philoso- 
phers of Greece, the Pathers and the medieral schoolmen and 
canonists, to consider the ground and origin of all law, the 
nature of that order which presides over the universe, over 
the external cosmos and human society, and to determine the 
principle which renders certain laws of permanent, and others 
of temporary, obligation. The first book, accordingly, is phi- 
losophical rather than theological: it presents a magnificent 
conception of the world as existing under a reign of law--law 
not arbitrar5 r but an expression of the divine reason. 
The literars" power of Hooker is admirably displayed in his 
eloquent treatment of the subject of the angels, which played 
a far more important part in theological speculation then than 
it does in our time. It is related that, when on his death-bed, 
Hooker was asked by his friend Saravia the subject of his 
meditations, and replied, "that he was meditating the number 
and nature of angels, and their blessed obedience and order, 
without which peace could not be in heaven; and oh that it 
might be so on earth." After speaking of the natural laws, 
which, so to speak, work automatically, he says: 

God which moveth mere natural agents as an efficient only, doth 

466 "Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity" 

sophy is detached from the immediate present Like other 
great Elizabethans, Hooker had the power of writing for all 
time. He enters the lists of controversy resolved to contend 
not with the weapons of dexterous argument but with those 
of a more solid character, drawn from the arsenal of philosophy. 
"Is there," he asks at the conclusion of the book, "anything 
which can either be thoroughly understood or soundly judged 
of, till the very first causes and principles from whence it 
springeth be made manifest?" 
In the second book, Hooker is still preparing the way for 
his argument with his opponents and, though dealing with one 
of their main axioms, he does not so much join issue with them 
as deal with general principles. The puritans maintained 
that Holy Scripture must be the sole guide of every action of 
a Christian's life. Hooker has little difficulty in showing that 
the passages of Scripture quoted are irrelevant, and that the 
opinions of the Fathers cited in support of the thesis are not 
really applicable to it. The chief interest of this short book, 
however, lies in the way in which it reverts to those divisions 
of laxv made in the first, and shows that, though revealed 
Scripture is an infallible guide, it is not the only one by which 
our actions must be determined. There is the same underlying 
appeal to common-sense that we find in the first book, the same 
dislike of mere hard logical theory as opposed to practice and 
experience, which makes Hooker a pre-eminently English 
theologian. It is worth observing how he sums up the results 
of accepting the puritan position: 

But admit this, and mark, I beseech you, what would follow. 
God in delivering Scripture to his Church should clean have abro- 
gated amongst them the law of nature; which is an infallible 
knowledge imprinted in the minds of all the children of men, where- 
by both general principles for directing of human actions are 
comprehended, and conclusions derived from them; upon which 
conclusions groweth in particularity the choice of good and evil in 
the daily affairs of this life. Admit this, and what shall the Scrip- 
ture be but a snare and a torment to weak consciences, filling them 
with infinite perplexities, scrupulosities, doubts insoluble, and 
extreme despairs. . . For in every action of common life to find 
out some sentence clearly and infallibly setting before our eyes what 
we ought to do (seem we in Scripture never so expert) would 

Hooker on the Side of Progress 467 

trouble us more than we are aware. In weak and tender minds we 
little know what misery this strict opinion would breed, besides 
the stops it would make in the whole course of all men's lives and 

It is this large view of matters, this broad and tolerant 
sympathy, which gives Hooker a unique place among theo- 
logical writers. 
When we reach the third book, dealing with the question 
whether a definite form of church polity is prescribed in Scrip- 
ture, it may be well to bear in mind that the title of Hooker's 
work is not The Laws of but Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, 
it being no design of his to lay down definite laws of church 
government but, rather, to discuss the principles whereon they 
are based. Strong churchman as he was, Hooker's aim was 
not to set up the laws of the church to which he belonged as a 
third code claiming the same infallibility as that which the 
advocates of the Roman and puritan ecclesiastical systems 
claimed. He was, as his whole argument shows, fighting the 
battle of toleration and progress, to which the assertion of 
infallibility must oppose an unsurmountable barrier. Circum- 
stances tended, in after days, to cause posterity, rightly or 
wrongly, to identify puritanism with civil and religious liberty; 
but the demand for the establishment of a discipline, rigidly 
defined and sanctioned by the unerring voice of Scripture, nmst, 
if granted, have meant ecclesiastical tyranny and stagnation. 
The error of the puritans was, as Hooker points out, the 
same as that of the African church in the time of St. Cyprian 
and the controversy on rebaptism, and was due to the failure 
to distinguish the visible from the mystical church. Even 
heretics are acknowledged to be "though a maimed part, yet 
a part of the visible church." For, 

if an infidel should pursue to death an heretic professing Christian- 
ity, only for Christian profession's sake, could we deny unto him 
the honour of martyrdom? Yet this honour all men know to be 
proper unto the Church. Heretics therefore are not utterly cut 
off from the visible Church of Christ. 

This generous sentiment was completely at variance with the 
tenets of Calvinism, which held that Romanism was a worse sin 
than idolatry, and Hooker considers Calvin's answer to Farel, 

468 "Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity" 

regarding the baptism of the children of papists, "crazed, 
because, in it, he says, ' It is an absurd thing for us to baptise 
them which cannot be reckoned members of our body.'" This 
large conception of the church as opposed to the narrower view 
of the puritans pervades the whole argument. 
The principal contention in this third book is, naturally, 
that Scripture lays down only what is absolutely necessary for 
doctrine and practice, and that this does not include the exter- 
nals of church worship or government. An ecclesiastical polity 
is as necessar3" to all societies of Christian men as a language, 
but it no more follows that all should adopt the same form of 
government in church matters than that they should use the 
same tongue. Episcopal government seems, however, to be 
more in consonance with Scripture than any other, though 
Hooker does not consider that a church ceases to be truly one 
because it lacks this advantage. 

"In which respect for mine own part," he remarks, " although 
I see that certain reformed churches, the Scottish especially and 
French, have not that whidh best agreeth with the sacred Scripture, 
I mean the government that is by Bishops, inasmuch as both those 
churches are fallen under a different kind of regiment; 'hich to 
remedy it is for the one altogether too late, and too soon for the 
other during their present affliction and trouble: this their defect 
and imperfection I had rather lament in such case than exagitate, 
considering that men oftentimes without any fault of their own 
may be driven to want that kind of polity or regiment which is best, 
and to content themselves with that, which either the irremediable 
error of former times, or the necessity of the present, hath cast upon 

In his fourth book, Hooker undertakes to defend the church 
of England against the charge of Romanism because certain 
ceremonies were retained which the other reformed churches 
had rejected. And here it may not be irrelevant to remark that 
the question of toleration never entered into the dispute. The 
object of the Elizabethan settlement was to establish a church 
on the broad basis of comprehension; that of the puritans to 
set up a procrustean institution and to force every Englishman 
to conform to it in all particulars. The point at issue between 
Anglican and puritan in the days of Elizabeth was which of 
two ideals of a national church should prevail. This was 

The Fourth and Fifth Books 469 

recognised generally in the country, and puritanism, discredited 
by the violent language of the Marprelate libels, was, when 
Hooker, in 594, issued his fourth book, manifestly on the 
wane, while Anglicanism, after an unpromising beginning, was 
daily gaining strength, so that he was able to say: 

That which especially concerneth ourselves, in the present 
matter we treat of, is the state of reformed religion, a thing at her 
[Elizabeth's] coming to the crown even raised as it were by a miracle 
from the dead; a thing which we so little hoped to see, that even 
they which beheld it done, scarcely believed their own senses at 
the first beholding. Yet being then brought to pass, thus many 
years it hath continued, standing by no other worldly mean but that 
one only hand which erected it; that hand which as no kind of 
imminent danger could cause at the first to withhold itself, so 
neither have the practice of so many so bloody following since been 
ever able to make weary.. Which grace and favour of divine 
assistance having not in one thing or two shewed itself, nor for 
some few days or years appeared . . what can we less thereupon 
conclude, than that God would at leastwise by tract of time teach 
the world, that the thing which he blesseth, defendeth, keepeth so 
strangely, cannot choose but be of him. Wherefore, if any refuse 
to believe us disputing for the verity of religion established, let 
them believe God himself thus miraculously working for it, and 
wish life even for ever and ever unto that glorious and sacred in- 
strument whereby he worketh. 

When we reach the fifth book, which, in itself, is almost as 
extensive as the rest of the work, we find ourselves at the very 
hear of the controversy and discover that the same master 
hand has the same capacity for dealing with detail as it ex- 
hibited in regard to general principles. It would be impossible 
to show here at length how Hooker defends the prayer-book 
against the criticisms of Cartwright and Travers; and we must 
be content with a cursory examination of the chapters wherein 
Hooker rises to the highest point of excellence as a theologian, 
namely those dealing with the sacraments. With questions 
purely ritual in character, Hooker is not a little impatient; the 
controversies of his own day about "rites and ceremonies of 
church action" appear, as he remarks in the dedication of this 
book to Whitgift, "such silly things, that very easiness doth 
make them hard to be disputed of in serious manner." But, 

47o "Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity" 

in treating of sacramental grace, he feels himself to be engaged 
in a congenial occupation, and he lavishes on it all the trea- 
sures of his 'ide reading and erudition combined 'ith skill 
and judgment. He takes us back to the great controversies of 
antiquity and, with masterly skill, unfolds the doctrine of the 
Divinity of the Word and the relation of the Divine and human 
natures in Christ. From the Person he goes on to speak of the 
Presence of Christ, and from Presence to the participation we 
have of Him. Thoroughly acquainted as he is with all the 
theories of sacramental grace prevalent in his day, especially 
in regard to the Eucharist, he recognises that here, if an)vhere, 
all parties are fundamentally agreed, now that the theories of 
Zwingli and Oecolampadius r'ere rejected "concerning that 
alone is material, namely the real participation of Christ and 
of life in his body and blood by.meazs o[ this sacramezt." "I 
wish," he adds, later, "that men -ould more give themselves 
to meditate what we have by the sacrament and less to dispute 
of the manner hoxv." 
Hooker went further on the path of conciliation than any 
other divine in seeing that a recognition of the fact of the 
presence of the Saviour, however defined, was the essential 
point to which all others were really subsidiary. A passage 
of remarkable beauty in the 67th chapter he brings to the 
following conclusion : 
What these elements are in themselves it s'killeth not, it is 
enough that to me which take them they are the body and blood 
of Christ, his promise in witness hereof sufficeth, his word he 
knoweth which way to accomplish; why should any cogitation 
possess the mind of a faithful communicant but this, 
O my God thou art true, O my soul thou art happy! 

The fifth book was, as we have seen, the last to be published 
in Hooker's lifetime; and the remaining three can only be 
mentioned in brief. The sixth deals 'ith the question of 
church discipline and contains a valuable survey of the system 
of penance, not only of that in the early church, but, also, of 
that in vogue among the Jews. Hooker also discusses the 
Roman view of the subject as put forward by cardinal Bellar- 
rmne. The seventh book answers the puritan objections to 
episcopal government, and is remarkable for the temperate 

Hooker's Place in the Reformation 

way in which each is stated and discussed as well as for 
the erudition displayed. While he professes his belief in the 
apostolical origin of episcopacy, Hooker does not consider the 
institution absolutely indispensable, though, when he speaks 
of cathedral establishments, his knowledge of history enables 
him to see in them the outlines of the primitive churches, and 
he gives way to a moment of enthusiasm foreign to his usual 

For most certain truth it is that cathedral churches and the 
bishops of them are as glasses wherein the face and very countenance 
of apostolical antiquity remaineth even as yet to be seen... For 
defence and maintenance of them we are most earnestly bound to 
strive, even as the Jews were for their temple . . . the overthrow 
and ruin of the one if ever the sacrilegious avarice of Atheists should 
prevail sd far, which God of his infinite mercy forbid, ought no 
otherwise to move us than the people of God were moved . 
when they uttered from the bottom of their grieved spirits those 
voices of doleful supplication Exsurge Domine et miserearis Sion, 
Servi tui diligunt lapides ejus, pulveris ejus miseret eos. 
Hooker, it may be remarked, insists on the necessity of episco- 
pal ordination except "u-hen the exigence of necessity doth 
constrain to leave the usual ways of the church, which other- 
wise we would willingly keep." 
The eighth book treats of "the power of supreme juris- 
diction" and the relation of the civil magistrate to the church. 
To Hooker a Christian church and state are identical; but an 
English monarch's power is strictly limited by law. "The 
axioms of our regal government," he says, "are these, lex 
]acit regem . and rex nihil potest nisi quod jure potest." In 
all the king's proceedings "law is itself the rule." 
Such, then, is the main outline of a great work which had 
an abiding influence on English history. It showed the 
strength of the argument in favour of the Elizabethan settle- 
ment of religion, and the real weakness, despite the moral 
fervour which it evoked, of the puritan position. But, though 
Hooker's work had no small influence on the subsequent 
development of the Anglican ideal, his position was not that of 
the Laudian, much less of the tractarian, school of clergy. He 
had the advantage of living at the time when the first bitterness 
of the conflict between puritanism and Anglicanism lad spent 

474 "Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity" 

prepare the way for the future by indicating the true lines on 
which theology ought to develop. He not only called into 
being the language of Anglican theology; he laid down the lines 
on which it should proceed. His style has won the commenda- 
tion of so great a master of English prose as Swift, and of a 
historian like Hallam. He can be fluent, easy and straightfor- 
ward at times, but is equally capable of rising to a majesty 
of eloquence or a severity of diction according to the require- 
ments of his subject. His singular sensitiveness to the rhythm 
and musical expression of his sentences has been remarked; 
and, even where he appears to be most obscure or involved, 
close attention will reveal a purpose alike in his choice of words 
and in the arrangement of the clauses of his sentences. It is 
certainly true that "such who would patiently attend and 
give him credit all the reading and hearing of his sentences, had 
their expectation ever paid at the close thereof." 
But he was far more than a great prose writer, a ripe scholar, 
a pioneer in bringing Greek philosophy into English literature. 
Hooker's greatest merit was that he showed Anglican theo- 
logians that their object must be, not to contend about trifles, 
but to hold up the highest ideal of a church rooted in antiquity, 
ever studious in Scriptural and primitive Christianity, and, 
at the same time, large minded, open and tolerant. In an age 
of partisanship, he was not in the least a party theologian, 
and he appealed to the understanding of those who had no 
sympathy with either Anglican or puritan. Hooker, it is true, 
struck the decisive blow in favour of the Anglican position in 
the sixteenth century: but he did a more lasting work. He 
indicated that Anglicanism meant freedom combined with 
reverence, the exercise of the reason with a simple faith, and 
that liberality towards all churches was compatible with 
loyalty to that of the nation. He was greater both than his 
contemporaries and than his followers, and whenever the 
church of England has failed it has been when she has not been 
true to the liberal principles of her greatest apologist. 

Universities under Edward VI and Mary 477 

was the function of the university to supply the professions; 
learning, as such, was ignored. The "university" declined, 
the "college" was not as yet systematised or disciplined. 
Disputations--the one test of proficiency--were neglected, 
the schools deserted; few graduated even as bachelors; the 
higher degrees were rarely sought. It is much that the old 
comity of learning did not entirely die. As Thomas Smith 
taught at Padua, and Caius at Montpellier, so German theo- 
logians, Dutch Hebraists, or Italian lawyers could hold English 
posts. It is of more weight still, that the Edwardian statutes 
mark a genuine advance in administration and in the concept 
of learning. They breathe the renascence spirit, they evince 
sound judgment and first-hand knowledge of the needs of'the 
universities. Elizabeth's advisers found little to alter in them, 
and they stood till the Laudian era. Philosophy--in humanist 
fashion--was held specifically to include politics, ethics and 
physica: Plato and Pliny were prescribed alongside of Aristotle. 
Dialectic covered not merely the text of Aristotle, lint, also, that 
of Hermogenes and of Quintilian--implying that interrelation of 
logic and rhetoric which was the very core of humanist doctrine. 
Mathematics included cosmography; Euclid, Strabo, Pom- 
ponius Mela and Cardan were the authorities. The Greek 
professor had to interpret Homer, Euripides, Demosthenes and 
"Socrates." To civil law, to be read, like medicine, in the 
original texts, was added a study of "the Ecclesiastic Laws of 
this Kingdom." For undergraduates, the first year course 
was mainly in mathematics (Elizabethan statutes substituted 
rhetoric); the second year in logic; the third in rhetoric and 
philosophy. The master's degree required three years' resi- 
dence, with reading in Greek, philosophy, geometry and as- 
tronomy. To a doctor alone was complete freedom allowed. 
But, gradually, the colleges imposed their own courses. Thus, 
the first year man at Trinity began logic, read Cicero and 
Demonsthenes, wrote prose and verse. He was probably, we 
remember, a boy of 12 to 15 years of age. Plato was added in 
his second year; after graduation, he took up Hebrew. Much, 
perhaps most, of all this was on paper only. Circumstances, 
whether fiscal, political or religious, were equally adverse. 
Greed, polemics, dynastic insecurity kept learning stagnant 
in schools and universities alike. 

The Universities and the Church 479 

a chancellor (i 564-88) of a different type, was, none the less, 
keen to secure Oxford for protestantism, and to raise the 
standard of efficiency in teaching and learning. Elizabeth 
herself was a lover of learning and, perhaps, the best-read 
woman of her time, with a bias to national continuity, and an 
aversion to the foreigner whether pope or Calvin. The visita- 
tions of 1559 once more eliminated hostile influences. Such 
heads of houses and fellows as clung to the old faith either 
withdrew or were expelled. Dr. Bill and Lawrence Humfrey, 
with many others, were restored. Disaffected societies, like 
St. John's, Trinity, or New College at Oxford, vere effectually 
"purged." But, this done, and Edward's statutes reimposed, 
the visitors held their hands. When the queen visited Cam- 
bridge in 1564, a new temper, hopeful and earnest, prevailed. 
The number of residents at Oxford rose steadily from one thou- 
sand to two. Benefactions were again freely offered. Two 
results of importance gradually emerge: the restoration of the 
universities to their function as safe seminaries of the clergy, 
and the final subordination of the university to the colleges 
and their heads. By the Act of Incorporation of both the 
universities (x 57), parliament, for the first time, recognised 
and confirmed the franchises, privileges and jurisdictions hith- 
erto enjoyed by Oxford and Cambridge under royal charters 
and by usage, and each attained the status of a corporation 
under the style of "The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars." 
Although tests were not by statute reimposed, convocation at 
Oxford, at Leicester's instance, passed decrees, requiring, from 
all undergraduates over 12 years of age, subscription to the 
articles of 1562, with special stress on the royal supremacy. 
Freedom of teaching and even of study was jealously watched 
from court; and, as Whitgift made plain, protestant orthodoxy 
and loyalty rather than learning were approved marks of 
university efficiency. By degrees, the concept of the church 
approved by Elizabeth and expounded by Hooker became 
dominant in Oxford, whilst Cambridge cultivated an enlight- 
ened puritanism. But, in both the universities alike, the 
keenest interests were those of controversy. Cambridge, 
however, sent out from St. John's and Trinity not a few school- 
masters of merit. 
After 159 o, Catholic influences were ruthlessly ousted from 

48o Universities, Schools and Scholarship 

English universities. Douay (i569), with its English college 
ruled by Allen, had, by 157 6, not less than two hundred stu- 
dents of British origin, amongst them not a few notable 
fellows and lecturers from Oxford and Cambridge. And other 
English scholars found refuge at St. Omer, Valladolid, Seville 
and in the English college at Rome. In 158I, Leicester still 
complained that Oxford suffered "secret lurking Papists," 
and, though less freely, Catholic houses continued to send their 
sons to Caius, Pembroke or Trinity Hall, at Cambridge, in 
spite of the harder temper of the university, or to Oriel, Trinity 
or St. John's at Oxford. Puritan families mainly affected 
Cambridge, especially" St. John's and the new foundations of 
Emmanuel (i 584), the avowed centre of militant protestantism, 
and Sidney Sussex (599). Robert Brown, John Smith, the 
baptist John Cotton and Cartwright were all at Cambridge. 
Lawrence Humfrey, president of Magdalen, Oxford, "did so 
stock his college with such a generation of nonconformists 
as could not be rooted out in many years after his decease." 
The strongest minds (Whitaker, master of St. John's, Cambridge, 
may be taken as a conspicuous example) drifted to theology. 
The best careers open to unaided talent lay in the church. 
Hebrew had more students than Greek. Tremellius, who 
taught it at Cambridge, was a foreigner; so were most of his 
successors. Oxford learnt Calvinian divinity from Huguenots 
and other refugees, Spanish and Italian. It is not the least 
title to their place in the history of literature, that Oxford and 
Cambridge bred the men to whom we owe the Bishops' Bible, 
the prayer-book and the Authorised Version.  
The place of civil law in the English universities needs brief 
mention. Sir Thomas Smith claimed it as a branch of hu- 
manism. In Elyot's vein, he will have it broadly based upon 
philosophy, ethics and history. This, the doctrine of Cujas and 
Alciati, he had imbibed at Padua and Bologna. For a short 
time, he succeeded in winning minds of distinction to study in 
this spirit a jurisprudence from which, in respect of precision 
and authority, English laxwers might learn much. But the 
uncertain professional demand for civilians, the academic 
temper of the Cambridge school, the suspicion attaching to 
the subject as Italian and, therefore, inevitably, papal, the 

See ante, Chap. II. 

482 Universities, Schools and Scholarship 

The lines of classical study were, nominally, determined 
by requirements for degrees. But the colleges were already 
dominant in teaching and in administration. The more 
strenuous exacted entrance tests. Rhetoric, in the wider 
humanist sense, philosophy, ethical and "natural," and logic 
were the accepted subjects for the degree. Oxford logic was 
strictly Aristotelian. Elsewhere, as at Cambridge and St. 
Andrews, it began to be taught on lines which Ramus elabo- 
rated from Agricola, and this, in turn, developed into the logic 
of Port Royal. Greek, as a university study, steadily declined 
from the standard set up by Cheke. None of his successors 
could arouse the old enthusiasm. Whitgift, the strongest 
force in the university, -knew no Greek. Under Mary, it was 
reputed to have disappeared from Oxford. Sir Thomas 
Pope's lament concerns this. Leicester, as chancellor, com- 
plained, in 58_ -, that the Oxford professor "read seldom or 
never." Indeed, it may be affirmed that no work in classical 
scholarship was produced at Oxford or Cambridge during the 
period under reviev which is remotely worthy of comparison 
with that turned out by Scaliger, Estienne, Nizolius, Casaubon, 
Turnebus, or a hundred industrious, but now half forgotten, 
scholars in French and German lands. Nor can English 
learning show a scholar, unless it were Henry Savile, to rank 
with George Buchanan. In Greek, not one of the translators, 
Savile excepted, but works through a French version, like 
North. There was, on the other hand, a large output of Latin 
plays 1--evidence, no doubt, of careful study in school and 
university of classical or rico-Latin models. Trinity statutes 
(54o) prescribed performances of Greek and Latin plays by 
fellows and masters. Acting was the accepted mode of train- 
ing youth in speaking Latin and in grace of gesture, wherever 
humanists controlled education. Shrewsbury, in this matter, 
held the pre-eminence amongst English schools; but at none 
of any pretension was the practice neglected, though in West- 
minster alone has the tradition retained its vitality to our own 
As the humanism of the sixteenth century became more 
strictly literary in its range, so surely did mathematics and 
natural philosophy sink to a lower place in English learning. 
i See Vol. V of the present work. 

English Learning in the With Century 483 

Their affinity was with navigation, architecture or military 
science, not with the learned professions: a typical and very 
popular hand-book was Blundeville His exercises . . . in Cos- 
mogral)hie. Methods of observation and experiment, 
working to practical ends, superseded authoritative appeal to 
Aristotle or Ptolemy. Recorde's The Castcl of Know'ledge 
(x553) had a vogue for half a century as a manual of the new 
mathematic, harmonised to the Copernican astronomy. The 
English Euclid (i 57 o) would seem to have had but a poor sale. 
Original work, like Gilbert's De liIagnete (6oo) kept its Latin 
dress, and, apart from this, nothing of first rate importance in 
the field of pure science was produced from an English press 
during the period under discussion. 
It is an interesting, though difficult, task to realise the 
actual range and level of the work of a studious undergraduate 
coming up from Westminster or Shrewsbury to Christ Church 
at Oxford or St. John's at Cambridge. Statutes, in effect, lend 
little or no help. Colleges ordered and gave the instruction 
and, apparently, were powerful enough to secure dispensation 
from the formal university exercises. A large, though varying, 
number in every college never graduated at all. Though the 
age at matriculation tended to rise, Bacon (vho, himself, 
entered at twelve years and three months) complained, in the 
closing years of the century, that a prime cause of the futility 
of university education lay in the immaturity of the under- 
graduate. We may remember that Bentham, two centuries 
later, went up at twelve. Magdalen (Oxford) wisely put raw 
first year "men" to the learning of rudiments in its own 
admirable grammar school. Yet, there is ample evidence that 
ambitious and well-prepared boysprecocious, perhaps, to 
our seemingnot only found helpful teaching in classical 
letters, but developed broad and abiding interests. Bodley, 
Wotton, Savile, Sidney and Hooker at Oxford, Spenser, 
Downes, Fraunce and Harington at Cambridge, are typical of 
different groups of men who owed much to the universities 
for the shaping of their bent. But that single-eyed devotion 
to scholarship which marked the circle of Cheke, Smith and 
Ascham at the outset of this period is far to seek as it draws 
to a close. Theology attracted the strongest intelligence as 
it has done at certain epochs since. The way to secular 

484 Universities, Schools and Scholarship 

advance lay at court or in adventure. Wotton, indeed, wrote 
his Latin play like many another. But he found his enjoy- 
ment at Oxford in reading law with Gentilis, in learning Italian 
and in working at optics. Donne had read enough for gradua- 
tion by the time he was thirteen : and he then left to spend four 
desultory years at Cambridge. Henry Savile, warden of Mer- 
ton and, later, like Wotton, provost of Eton, whose rightful 
repute for scholarship even Scaliger allowed, translated the 
Annals of Tacitus (592), wrote on Roman warfare, edited 
Xenophon (the Cyropaedia) and produced the first substantial 
work of English patristic learning since the revival. He 
stands for the "courtier" as developed on English soft, a man 
of the world, versatile and travelled, "the scholar gentleman." 
Before the queen died, the English universities had already 
begun to realise their national function as the breeders of men 
of talent for affairs, of divines and schoolmasters, with here 
and there, as a "sport," a man of letters and, yet more rarely, 
a leader in scholarship. 
Three other foundations call for mention: Edinburgh ( 58 2), 
Trinity College, Dublin (59 ) and Gresham College (596). 
The reformation struggle had all but extinguished university 
teaching in Scotland, which sent students to Padua or Douay, 
or to the Collge de Guyenne, at Bordeaux, where we meet with 
many Scottish names, that of George Buchanan among them. 
It is characteristic of the time that young Scotsmen very 
rarely found their way to Oxford or Cambridge. Andrew 
lielville, though as fanatic as Knox, was, however, a humanist 
and did something to restore learning at Glasgow and St. 
Andrews. Edinburgh was too young to take effective part 
in building up the fabric of Scottish protestant humanism. 
Trinity College, Dublin, an outstanding product of the English 
reformation, was, as Fuller describes it, a plantation settled 
from Cambridge. The first suggestion for a foundation in 
Dublin had come from archbishop Bourne, some forty years 
before, and was repeated after Elizabeth's accession. The 
temper of the founder was revealed in the two men who filled 
the office of provost, the first, archbishop Loftus, a fellow 
of Trinity, Cambridge--and admirer of Cartwright--and the 
second, Travers, of Disciplina fame, puritan and arch-separa- 
tist. The college was, of course, part and parcel of the English 

English Schools under Elizabeth 485 

occupation. Sir Thomas Gresham designed his college (i 596), 
in London, to be "an epitome of a University." Oxford 
chose the original seven professors, who included Henry 
Briggs, Napier's collaborator. The professor of law was 
expressly directed to treat of contracts, monopolies, shipping 
and the like. "Medicine" covered not only the study of Galen 
and Hippocrates, but, also, modern theories of physiologT, 
pathologT and therapeutics. Geometry was to be both 
theoretical and practical. In divinity, the professor was 
charged specially to defend the Church of England. It was a 
notable attempt to adapt the vidcning knowledge of the day 
to the needs of "the spacious time." 
It is significant that, in both universities, the art of printing 
ceased at some date between 152o-3o, to be restored at Cam- 
bridge, in 1582, when Thomas was recognised as printer to the 
university, and at Oxford, in 158 5, when Barnes set up a press. 
But the centre of English printing and publishing was London, 
where fifty presses were at work under strict surveillance of 
court and bishop. From i586, licence to publish was granted 
by the archbishop of Canterbury and the bishop of London, 
and the only two presses authorised without the London area 
were those of Oxford and Cambridge. Little of the first order 
was produced, however, by the university printers. The mass 
of texts for school and college were not of English origin, but 
bear the imprint of Plantin, Aldus, or GrTphius and of the 
busy vorkshops of Basel and Paris. 

The influence of Edwardian legislation on English schools 
is a subject for the general historian. It is, however, to be 
noted how large was the supply of small schools, elementary, 
"song," or grammar schools in England, as revealed by the 
chantry commission of I548, particularly in the eastern half 
of the kingdom. Some half dozen school foundations, such 
as Sedbergh and Birmingham, are in debt to Northumberland. 
Mary could do as little for schools as for universities. Eliza- 
beth's counsellors took up the task where Edward's death 
had left it. The queen's trained intelligence was on the side 
of knowledge. In church and in state, the men she trusted 
owed more to acquired gifts than to birth. Classical education 
was in favour at court; money from religious houses was-- 

486 Universities, Schools and Scholarship 

though sparingly, as always--accorded to school endowments 
on request. To restore the local grammar school became a 
fashion. Merchants, servants of the crown, country gentry, 
superior clergy, borough corporations, founded free grammar 
schools. Westminster was reconstructed; Eton and Win- 
chester, which had the immunities of a college of the univer- 
sities, widened studies and enlarged their numbers. The 
leaving age was advanced. A nexv type of scholar, sometimes, 
like Ashton of Shrewsbury, a man of versatile gifts and stand- 
ing at court, or a travelled historian like Camden, became 
headmaster. Savile and Wotton dignified the office of provost 
of Eton. Purely local schools, such as Peterborough or Col- 
chester, made stringent requirements of attainment in their 
headmasters. Fellows of the best colleges took service in 
schools, and, though often incompetent as teachers, were but 
rarely ill-educated men. The best houses began to send boys 
to school. The tutor remained for the younger brothers, or 
piloted the promising graduate through the perils of the 
foreign tour. The burgher class adopted the new education. 
Colet's reformed school of St. Paul's was copied in fifty towns. 
Borough councils were importunate to secure charters and 
grants. In order to keep a high level of efficiency, here and 
there a founder linked his school to one of the colleges of the 
university, after the fashion of Eton or Winchester. The lay 
spirit became dominant. Shrewsbury, indeed, was a civic 
school, but ecclesiastical foundations also, like Westminster 
and Winchester, now and again had lay heads. The licence 
to teach was granted by the bishop of the diocese, and, nomi- 
nally at least, royal sanction gave its imprimatur to a Latin 
grammar or to a historical text-book like Ocland's Anglorum 
Praclia. Yet, in reality, instruction was unfettered within 
the limits of school statutes. 
There were, in effect, two main types of school. The first 
was the great public boarding school: Eton, W'inchester and 
Westminster, drawing pupils from the country at large, though 
Westminster was, largely, a London school; with these ranked 
Shrewsbury, which, of local origin and a day school, yet 
served a province, and was filled with sons of the gentry of 
north Wales, and the northwest midlands. The second type 
was the town day school, of diverse origin, such as St. Paul's, 

Roger Ascham 49 

Richard Sherry's Treatise of Schemes and Tropes (i 555)- The 
author was headmaster of Magdalen College school, at this 
time, perhaps, the best Latin school in England. His writing 
is crabbed and technical, and had small vogue outside lecture 
rooms. More popular were Richard Rainolde's Foundation 
of Rhetorike (i563), Henry Peacham's Garden of Eloquence 
(i 577) and The Arcadian Rhetorike (1584) of Abraham Fraunce, 
who works in modern examples from poetry and prose, notably 
quoting Sidney and Tasso, and not overlooking the Spaniards. 
Roger Ascham was entered at St. John's, Cambridge, a little 
later than Cheke and, as he neared manhood, found himself 
drawn into his circle, which embraced Redman and Pember, 
Thomas Smith, Ridley and Wilson. Upon Cheke, Ascham 
looked back as upon his great master, counting him worthy to 
rank with John Sturm of Strassburg, the chief luminary of 
protestant scholarship in the middle of the sixteenth century. 
In I548, Ascham, perhaps the ablest Greek scholar in 
England, and public orator of the university, was called to 
court as tutor to princess Elizabeth. But, while he enjoyed 
his task of teaching a pupil of Elizabeth's acquisitive temper, 
his self-respect ill brooked a court position. Two years later, 
he made the tour of Germany, as secretary to a mission, touch- 
ing Italy at Venice. He was alert to meet scholars, observe 
institutions and visit historic sites. Characteristically, the 
secretary taught his chief Greek grammar during their intervals 
of leisure. The Rcport and Discourse of the affairs of Germany, 
written in 1553, shows him a keen student of French and Ger- 
man politics. He has made Thucydides, Polybius and Lix3- 
his models. Commines has his favour, but, though he would 
not have allowed it, we may safely affirm that Macchiavelli's 
Relaziorti had taught him more than the ancients. Queen 
llary made him Latin secretary at court, where his own cau- 
tion, aided by Gardiner's personal feeling for him, secured him 
from molestation on account of his opinions, and Elizabeth was 
glad to keep him in her service as Greek preceptor and courtier 
of the new style. 
Much of Ascham's classical writing--translation from 
Sophocles, studies in Herodotus, a tract de Imitationehas 
disappeared. Probably, the three works by which he is now 
known adequately represent his powers. Toxophilus (i 545), 

492 Universities, Schools and Scholarship 

a treatise on the art of shooting with the long-bow, treats, in 
the accepted dialogue form, of the function of bodily training 
in education, with the urgent prescription of practice with the 
bow as the national exercise. There is not a little of Plato and 
the Italians in his concept of the place of physical grace and 
vigour in personality. Plutarch and Epicharmus, Domitian 
and Galen, are all called in to defend his argument. This was 
inevitable, given the time and place; but, in spite of the fanci- 
ful play made with Jupiter and Minos in this connection, the 
skilled English archer for more than a hundred years has made 
Toxophilus his text-book, and "Ascham's Five Points" are 
part of the lore to-day. 
Ascham's nationalism, which inspires every paragraph of 
Toxophilus, is but characteristic of English humanism of the 
finer type. Elyot, Smith, Cheke and Hoby are Englishmen 
first and men of scholarship next. Learning, indeed, they win 
from every source; they are voracious readers, their interests 
are well-nigh universal. But, whatever the flowers, native or 
foreign, wholesome or poisonous, the sweetness drawn there- 
from is the honey of English hives. The 5cholemaster ( 570) is 
essentially the work of a scholar who has no illusions on the 
subject of Erasmian cosmopolitanism. Like Elyot, he wrote 
in his ovn tongue--English matter, in English speech, for 
Englishmen, as he had said in his Toxophilus. He made, 
indeed, of a technical treatise a piece of literature, and that 
of no mean order. We may notice that writings upon educa- 
tion which were written or found welcome in this country had 
a note of reality which is often far to seek in German, or, still 
more, in Italian pieces of similar character. The starting 
point of The 5cholrmaster is, essentially, that of Elyot's Gover- 
hour. This is, that England loses much fruitful capacity 
through the ill-training of its youth of station. In the first 
book, Ascham considers the chief reasons of the ineffectiveness 
of the new education. From the text that news had reached 
court that Eton boys had broken school to escape the birch, 
he inveighs, irt the vein of Erasmus, against the cruelty of 
school discipline, not realising that, given the curriculum and 
the mode of teaching it, harsh punishments were, in fact, in- 
evitable. He next considers the differing nature of "wits." 
The schoolmaster is prone to hold precocity the singular mental 

494 Universities, Schools and Scholarship 

of it which confronts us in Italian humanists prior to the later 
Patrizi. Much space is given to the art of teaching rhetoric. 
Cicero is the accepted master; where Quintilian differs from 
him, he is to be disregarded. John Sturm he regards as un- 
approachable amongst neo-Latinists. Ascham pleads for 
style: "ye know not what hurt ye do to learning that are not 
for words but for matter, and do make a divorce betwixt the 
tongue and the heart." The secret of true imitation is to read 
exactly and, at the same time, to read widely. English will 
have its fruit of such right imitation of classic models, for in 
them alone are the "true precepts and perfect examples" 
of sound writing. Upon poetic imitation only did Ascham 
lapse into pedantry. 1 He will recognise no English metres. 
Much as he admires Chaucer, he apologises for his riming, an 
inheritance from the Goth and Hun. 
It seems that The Scholemaster was, for a time, accepted as 
the approved manual of method in instruction. The licence of 
The Positious (58) of Richard Mulcaster runs thus: "pro- 
vided always that if this book contain anything prejudicial or 
hurtful to the Book of Master Ascham . . called The Schole- 
master, that then this licence shall be void. " In passing from 
Ascham to Mulcaster we step into a different world. For 
Mulcaster, though an Eton boy and a student of Christ Church, 
spent his life as a master of the two great day schools of the 
city of London--headmaster of Merchant Taylors', I561-86 ; 
surmaster and, later, highmaster (I596) of St. Paul's. The 
fruit of his experience is embodied in two books, The Positions 
( 58) and The Elcmeutarie (i 582), the latter an instalment of 
a larger work. Whilst Ascham was concerned with youth of 
station, destined to become landowners, courtiers or diplo- 
matists, Mulcaster's subject is the education of the burgher 
class. Both, again, use English as their instrument; Ascham 
wrote good Tudor prose, whilst it is no gibe to say that MUl- 
caster's own example is enough to imperil his thesis that 
English speech is as harmonious and as precise as Latinity 
itself. He had Spenser for his pupil, and has often been 
identified with the caricature in Love's Labour's Lost. Mul- 
caster is, by training and by interests, a humanist, but of a 
temper little akin to that of Cheke or Ascham. The hard 

See ante, Chap. xtv. 

Richard Mulcaster 495 

experience of twenty years had proved to him how different 
was the training in letters set out by the great writers from the 
realities of the schoolroom. It is a standing puzzle to us 
to-day that men of strong intelligence, knowing however little 
of boys, should assume, as without question, that a rigorous 
course of grammar, construing, composition and conversation 
in Latin, and that only, must appeal to youthful minds. They 
do not seem to have understood that, to win effective attention 
to arid and meaningless material, nothing less than the most 
harsh pressure could be expected to succeed with the average 
boy. Now, Mulcaster is the uncouth prophet of a new order. 
For he sees the problem in a modern way. He has shaken 
himself free of traditional platitudes. He is conscious of a 
new world, and of the need of a new education adapted to it. 
His two books, written in close succession, exhibit a consistent 
idea and may be viewed together. He writes in English, 
vishing to reach the vulgar; no fishmonger or tailor in London 
could touch it in Latin shape. The time has gone by, as he 
perceives, for illusions as to the place of Latin speech in Eliza- 
bethan England. He will have the elements of education for 
all; the grammar school and the university will provide for 
the select few of promising wit. But he boldly states that 
he sees loss to the community in alluring the unfit to the 
t-_npractical training of letters. "I am tooth and nail for woman- 
kind" in matters of education, he declares. But their instruc- 
tion must fit them for their station. Only such as are born 
to high place or to prospect of coming wealth should, in 
humanist fashion, be taught the learned tongues or history or 
logic, l\Iulcaster has a sound perception of the importance of 
physical training to mental efficiency, which he partly owes to 
Girolamo Mercuriale and other Italians. The growing custom 
of sending boys of every class to school has his goodwill: but, 
sympathising here with Ascham, he sets himself against the 
habit of travel for youth as bad for patriotism and religious 
constancy. He would have a training school for teachers set 
up in each university; he is the first English master to grasp 
the significance of what Vives had said on this head long before. 
Further, he would see with approval the colleges at Oxford 
and Cambridge specifically allotted to the study of the three 
subjects of general training, languages, mathematics and 

496 Universities, Schools and Scholarship 

philosophy, and to the four professional disciplines of medicine, 
law, divinity and teaching. He is consistent in objecting to the 
study of Roman and of canon law for English youth. He 
sets out in detail his views of the function of English in the 
new education, advocating, in particular, that scholars should 
devote themselves to the settling of the orthography, accidence 
and syntax of the language, that, thereby, English may claim 
its place side by side with Latin, whose merits of precision and 
elaboration he is foremost to perceive. For " I love Rome, 
but London better, I favour Italy, but England more, I honour 
Latin, but worship English." 
It would be impossible to enumerate the works of foreign 
origin which affected the ideals of manners and instruction in 
England during Elizabeth's reign, but account may be taken of 
certain representative books which were popular enough to 
demand translation. II Cortegiano of Castiglione, 1 translated 
by Hoby as The Courtier ( 5 6 t), is, of course, much more than 
a treatise on the up-bringing of youth, but, as presenting a 
picture of the "perfect man" of the renascence, it had aft 
undoubted, if indirect, effect on higher education in England. 
II Cortegiano speedily became cosmopolitan in its vogue. High 
society in France, Spain and the Low Countries, not less than 
in Italy, revered it as an inspired guide, supplementing, ac- 
cording to choice, its obvious omissions with respect to the 
side of religion and the stalwart virtues. The concept of a 
complete personality constituted of physical gifts, learning, 
taste and grace of manner was the gift which the Italian 
revival at its noblest offered to the western peoples. Himself 
"a perfect Castilio," Sidney never stirred abroad without The 
Courtier in his pocket. To Cleland, writing for the new century 
(The Institution of a Noblemn, 6o7), it is the final word on 
a gentleman's behaviour. Especially does its spirit breathe 
through such writers as La Primaudaye and Count Annibale 
Romei, whose books were in wide circulation at the time when 
this period was drawing to its close. The French Academy 
so Bowes translates the title of La Primaudaye's workis 
written (x577) in dialogue form, and dedicated to Henri III. 
It is less strictly confined to the courtly ideal than Castiglione's 
II Cortegiano; its gentlemen of Anjou discourse together of the 

t Ed. pr. Aldus, I528. 


'Fhe Language from Chaucer 

to Shake- 

HE all-important feature in the development of English 
during the pre-Chaucerian period consisted of those 
grammatical changes which entirely altered the organic 
character of the language. From being a highly inflected lan- 
guage, it became one partially stripped of inflections, whereas 
its changes in vocabttlary during the same period, though 
important in themselves, were far less radical in their effects. 
After 14oo, the order of importance is reversed. It was a 
change in the vocabulary, particularly in that of the sixteenth 
century, which made almost all the difference ; the grammatical 
structure was modified in but a comparatively slight degree. 
The causes of these differing tendencies are not far to seek. 
The period before Chaucer was one in which English was not, 
as yet, the literary language: it shared that dignity with Latin 
and Anglo-French, and, of its four main dialects, no one had 
become predominant. These were conditions xvhich readily 
permitted grammatical change and led to attempts being made 
at removing ambiguities and irregularities from the inflectional 
system. After 14oo, the restraining influences of a recognised 
literary dialect and a growing literature made themselves felt. 
Writers became more and more adverse to modifications of 
grammatical forms, which had already been simplified almost 
to their limit, while the vocabulary grew mechanically under 
varying but ever increasing influences. 
The period (14oo-16oo) with which this chapter deals 
divides naturally into two centuries, the dividing point being, 
roughly, the date of Caxton's death (i49i). The first of these 
two periods--the fifteenth centurymthough transitional and 

500 Language from Chaucer to Shakespeare 

somewhat chaotic in character, was, nevertheless, responsible 
for certain marked developments. In it an increased imFor- 
tahoe was given to the vernacular, and a uniform written 
language was established, both of which effects were due to 
tendencies visible already in Chanter's day. And the period 
is further characterised by some considerable changes in voca- 
bulary, as well as by changes of a more gradual kind in gram- 
matical structure and pronunciation, which may be said to 
culminate in the following century. 
The increasing importance of the vernacular in the fifteenth 
century was due, in part, to the growing sense of nationality 
under Edward III. Although the use of English had never 
died out, and even Robert of Gloucester had been able to state 
that "Iowe men holdel to Engliss," yet, in the thirteenth 
century and later, Anglo-French was the courtly language, 
Latin the lanKuage of learned and documentary writings. 
Under Edward III, the conditions began to change: in 362, 
parliament was opened by an English speech, and, about the 
same time, English began to be used in the law courts and the 
schools. 1 It also came to be generally regarded as the lan- 
guage of literature, as is seen when Gower forsakes French and 
Latin to write in English, and when Capgrave (46-,) compiles 
what was the first chronicle in English since the Conquest. 
Though the struggles of the vernacular for recognition were not 
completed in this century, the position it held was stronger 
than at any time since o66, and its supremacy was to be 
assured by Caxton's work. 
The causes which brought about the recogrtition of a 
standard dialect of English have already been treated. Lon- 
don furnished that dialect, just as the chief city of Attica 
furnished the language of literary Greek and Paris the language 
of literary French; and throughout the fifteenth century this 
London dialect was gaining ascendency. Various dialectal 
forms inserted in a text would still betray the district from 
which their writer hailed, even when he had deliberately 
adopted the standard dialect; and such provincialisms re- 

I The oldest private records in English are dated t375 and t38t; the 
oldest London documents in English, i384, i386; the earliest petition to 
parliament in English, i386; the earliest English wills, i387. See -Morsbach: 
ber den Ursprung der neuegl. Schritsprache (Heilbronn, i888), passim. 

Fifteenth Century Changes in Vocabulary 

mained until the time of printed texts. But, from now on- 
wards, the one dialect was to represent the spoken language 
of the educated, as well as the literary and official medium. 
The dialects of OrJ1zulum and the Ancren Rizvlc lost caste, and 
remained, apart from literature, on the tongues of the Feople. 
The most striking feature in connection with the fifteenth 
century vocabulary was the rapid manner in which old native 
words became obsolete. This is clearly seen from the following 
lists, taken, on the one hand, from fourteenth century texts, 
and, on the other, from modernised versions of those texts, 
belonging to the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. 

Trevisa's Chron. Caxton's version 
(I387) (I482) 
icleped called 
schull@ fonge shall resseyve 
to eche encrece 
byneme teke away 
buxom obedient 
hit was named 
as me trowel, as men suppose 
steihe ascended 
ede went 
nesche soft 

Wyclif's trans. Tindale's version 
(138o) (IS2 s) 
heathens gentyls 
eerd rod 
to meke to humble 
soure dow leven 
bitake delyver 
axe him questen with him 
walow a stoon roll a stone 
abide it wayte for it 
elde olde age 
to hie hymself to exalt hym 

Literary diction is not always a true test as to the condition of 
the spoken language, but there can be little doubt that the 
changes here represented stand for changes of the language in 
common use; for the object in modernising the texts had been 
to bring them into conformity with the language of the day. 
And it is also interesting to note that the forms of the later 
texts are practically those of modern English: they vere to 
be fixed by the printing press. 
It is evident from the above lists that the obsolescent native 
words were being mainly superseded by words of French origin. 
French words had been borrowed during the preceding cen- 
turies, when Anglo-French represented the language of the 
official and governing classes; but, in the fifteenth century, 
as a result of different social and literary influences, the borrow- 
t See T. L. K. Oliphant's New English, I, pp. 336, 4o9-io. 

503 Language from Chaucer to Shakespeare 

ings were mainly of the Parisian or Picardian type, and their 
use became more marked than ever. Already, in the first half 
of this century, a change is visible; in Lydgate, for instance, 
abstract words of Romance origin are being substituted for 
Chaucer's concrete native terms, 1 and the proportion of this 
foreign element steadily increased as the century advanced. 
Translation, no doubt, accounts for the presence of many of 
these French words in fifteenth century English, also for the 
many Latin words and constructions which were freely adopted. 
But it by no means represents the only influence. Trade 
relations with the Netherlands and the settlement of Flemish 
weavers in England during the fourteenth century led to the 
introduction of many Low German words, which were supple- 
mented at a later date, when relations with the Low Countries 
were renewed in connection with printing. Then, again, 
Italian words like "pilgrim," "alarm" and "brigand," are 
found naturalised before  5oo; and so, in a variety of ways, 
the character of the vocabulary changed, anticipating the 
more expansive movements of the following centur3-. 2 
It is also clear, from the above lists, that the decay of the 
earlier inflectional system was being gradually completed. 
Unnecessary adjuncts like the prefix y-, the negative particle 
in has and endings like -ep in "schullc]" (present plural) and 
"have]" (imperative plural), where the plural idea was denoted 
by the context, were being discarded. Prepositional forms 
were increasing, as well as the periphrastic method of compari- 
son by "more" and "most." There was also a growing 
tendency to avoid impersonal constructions, while vowel- 
differences, due to earlier ablaut or umlaut, as in "schulle" 
and "elde," in the list given above, were being rapidly lev- 
elled. The most important of these changes, however, was the 
loss of final syllabic -e (-es, -an). It is probable that Chaucer's 
systematic use of that vowel represented merely an archaism 

 In the diction of Chaucer's Prologue there is x3 per cent. of foreign 
element; in Lydgate's Assembly o] Gods, e3 per cent. (See O. T. Triggs, 
Assenbly o] Gods, E.E.T.S. Ex. Set. Lxx.) 
 Wyclif's phrases " the streit late," " to be of good coumfort," and such 
expressions as "the pees that the world may not geve," "for better for warse," 
"tyl dethe us departe" (translation of York Manual, x39o) are early indica- 
tions of the influence of " makers of EngLish" (see p. 5 

The Purists 507 

aimed at retaining the language in its purity and severity, 
while the other made for innovation, for the strengthening of 
the native growth with foreign material. These opposing 
tendencies represented an inevitable stage in linguistic develop- 
ment. Innovations had been made continuously since the 
time of the Romans, and the work of sixteenth century inno- 
vators, Latinists for the most part, was simply a continuation of 
this practice. But the opposite tendency, that of the purists, 
was now felt for the first time; conservatism was generated only 
when time had brought about a due consciousness of the past 
and a pride in the vernacular as a national possession. 
The purists were notably Cheke, Ascham and Wilson, though 
their sympathies were shared by many others. Cheke, as a 
lover of "old denisened words," expressed himself in un- 
equivocal terms. "Our own tung," he writes, "should be 
written clean and pure, tnmixt and unmangeled with borrow- 
ing of other tunges; wherein, if we take not heed by tyro, ever 
borrowing and never payeng, she shall be fain to keep her house 
as bankrupt." Ascham, too, adopted the same attitude, and 
Wilson decried all "overflouryshing wyth superfluous speach. " 
And this love of the vernacular and confidence in its re- 
sources was present with others. Mulcaster honoured Latin 
but worshipped English; Sidney maintained that for "uttering 
sweetly and properly the conceits of the mind . [English] 
hath it equally with any other tongue in the world," and 
similar sentiments were uttered by Golding and Pettie, while, 
before the end of the century, Carew's Epistle ot the Exccllrncy 
of the English Tongue had appeared. 1 Under certain condi- 
tions, religious zeal might also account for a purist attitude, as 
when Fulke, in his attack of 1583 upon the Rheims translation 
of the Bible, complains of the number of Latin words used in 
that version, where they occur "of purpose to darken the 
sense . [and that] it may be kept [by the Papists] from 
being understood." 
But there were not a few who held that the vernacular 
needed improvement if it was to respond to the demands 
which were obviously ahead. To refuse innovation was to 

' It is contained in the end ed of Camden's Remains (I6O 5) See also the 
prophecy of the glorious destiny of the English language in Daniel's lIluso- 
philus ( 599) (quoted by Courthope, History o[ English Poetry, vol. hi, p. 3)- 

So8 Language from Chaucer to Shakespeare 

neglect the very means by which it had prospered in the 
past; and it was felt that the jealous exclusiveness of the 
extreme purists threatened to blunt all literary expression 
and would turn the vernacular into a clumsy instrument. 
Many of those whose instincts were conservative were also 
alive to the necessity for a certain amount of innovation. 
Even Cheke made a proviso to the effect that, "borrowing, 
if it needs must be, should be done with bashfulness," and 
both Petrie and Wilson definitely proposed to improve their 
language by Latin borrowings. "It is the way," remarked 
the former, "that all tongues have taken to enrich them- 
selves." Gascoigne, though disliking strange words in general, 
vas bound to admit that, at times, they might "draw attentive 
reading"; while Nashe, complaining of the way in which 
English swarmed with "the single money of monosylla- 
bles," proposed to make "a royaler showy," by exchanging his 
"small English.. four into one.., according to the 
Greek, French, Spanish and Italian." Other reasons were 
elsewhere advanced to justify innovation; but xvhat is of 
more importance is that, in actual practice, the main body 
of writers were fully in sympathy with the aims of the 
The result of these conflicting tendencies was twofold. 
The conservatism of the purists proved a useful drag upon 
the energies of the reformers; it tended to preserve from 
obsolescence the native element in the language, and was a 
wholesome reminder of the necessity for moving slowly in 
a period of rapid change and hot enthusiasm. The efforts 
of the innovators, on the other hand, made great things 
possible. The language under their treatment became more 
supple, more ornate and more responsive to new ideas and 
emotions; but this was only after a certain amount of licence 
had been frowned out of existence. 
The conservative tendency is revealed, not only in a neg- 
ative way, by the general discountenancing of rash innovation, 
but, also, by positive efforts made "to restore such good and 
natural English words as had been long time out of use and 
almost clean disherited." Obsolescent words, no doubt, 
persisted in the spoken language, for Ascham, who held 
"that good writing involved the speech of the comon people," 

Sio Language from Chaucer to Shakespeare 

form of utterance for rusticity on the stage; whence the 
forms "chad," "ichotte," "vilthy," "zembletee" (semblance), 
in Ralph Roister Doister, with which may be compared Edgar's 
diction in King Lear. 
But the use of obsolescent and dialectal forms added no- 
thing to the permanent literary resources. It was an artificial 
restoration of words, honourable enough in the past, but 
which the language had naturally discarded; for words rapidly 
become obsolete in a period of swiftly advancing culture. 
Where such words appear, they add a picturesqueness to 
Elizabethan diction, but it was not until the close of the 
eighteenth century that the full capabilities of words racy 
of the soil became properly appreciated, when dialect added 
new effects to English expression. For the rest, the ancient 
words continued to linger in their rustic obscurity, regardless 
of the attention or neglect of literary men. That they were 
already fast becoming unfamiliar in polite circles would 
appear from the fact that a glossary of obscure words was 
appended to Speght's edition of Chaucer (6o2), a convenience 
which had not been deemed necessary in the editions of 
154_- and 56. 
The case, however, was different when words, instead of 
being drawn from a dead past, were taken from a living 
present, as elements contributed to the language by the 
changing thoughts and movements of the time. English, 
in the nineteenth century, assimilated the respective vocab- 
ularies of German metaphysics, the pictorial art and science; 
and, in the same way, the language of the sixteenth century 
was assimilating the phraseolo- of renascence learning 
and reformation zeal, as well as the expressions of travel 
and adventure. And, although English, owing to its plastic 
state, accepted, for the time being, more of these elements 
than it was destined to retain, the ultimate result was linguistic 
expansion, and a considerable step was thus taken by the 
language towards its modern form. 
The influence of the renascence is seen in the classical 
importations with which the language became inundated-- 
an influence parallel to that which induced scholars to turn 
to the classics for assistance in remodelling and reforming 
their literary art. Just as attempts were made to introduce 

Pedantic Spellings 

(opinion), "prevent" (go before), t Such words as these, be- 
ing more or less strange to the common idiom of that age, were 
vell suited to form part of its literary material; whereas, 
to a later age, which assigns to them different meanings, 
they suggest an archaic flax'our, which is one of the charms 
of Elizabethan diction. Not unfrequently, they would de- 
teriorate in meaning; this is true of classical words to a greater 
extent than of native words, and of this depreciation, "im- 
pertinent" and "officious" are examples. 
Sometimes, however, classical enthusiasm would distort 
word-forms, which had been derived at an earlier date from 
Latin through Romance, and, consequently, attempts were 
made to restore letters which had been normally lost in that 
passage. Thus, b was inserted in "doubt" and "debt," l in 
"vault" and "fault," d in "advantage" and "advance," 
while "apricock" was thus written probably in view of the 
Latin iu aprico coctus. Then, again, the form "amicable" 
appeared by the side of "amiable," "absency" (Latin "ab- 
sentia") together with the "absence"; through the 
influence of Greek, "queriste" became "choriste," while 
"fantasy" varied with "phantasy"; and, in other forms 
like" fruict," "traditour" (traitor), "react" (fact), "traictise" 
and "conceipt," are visible further pedantries not destined 
to be permanent. Occasionally, more audacious changes 
took place in attempts to suggest a fanciftfl etymology: as, 
for instance, when "fore" (O.E. "gefera," companion) was 
written pheere,' or when 'eclogues" appeared as aeglogues, 
as if to connect it with the Greek al'E (goat). The frail 
foundation upon which mos of such changes rested may 
be gathered from the statement of one writer that the words 
"vind" and "way" were derived from the Latin "venlus"' 
and "via," while the spelling "abhominable," as if from the 
Latin ab homine, was generally accepted. Indeed, even in 
the case of so vorthy an antiquary as Camden, we find the 
paradox that "the Old English.. could call a Comet a 
ixed Starre which is alI one with Stella Crinita. ''? 

I Also, "expect "' (wait), "record " (remember), "table " (picture), " ab- 
rupt " (wicked). 
* That is, " crinita "=" fixed," the latter being taken as a derivative of 
O.E. " feax " (hair) (!). 

VOL. III--33 

514 Language from Chaucer to Shakespeare 

The result of all this vas the introduction of a number of 
artificial spellings, many of which, having been retained, 
have greatly contributed to the vagaries of our modem 
The effect of this host of classical borrowings was to in- 
crease, in many ways, the capabilities of the language in the 
matter of expression. They formed the language of reasoning, 
of science and of philosophy; from them, mainly, were drawn 
artistic and abstract terms, whereas the language of emotion, 
particularly that of the drama, remained very largely Teu- 
tonic in kind. Not unseldom, a classical word was borrowed, 
though its equivalent already existed in English, and this 
usage gave rise to frequent synonyms. The use of synonyms 
was by no means normal in English, nor was it ineffective 
as a literary device. They had entered very largely into Old 
English verse, and were still a feature of Elizabethan English, 
as may be seen from combinations like "acknoMedge and 
confess," "humble and lowly," "assemble and meet together," 
in the English liturgy, or such forms as "limited and confined," 
"wonder and admiration," to be found elsewhere. Their 
increased use, at this date, was due partly to the exuberant 
character of the age, partly to an increase in the material 
available for such forms and partly to the plastic condition 
of the language, which made it easy for an unfamiliar word 
to be supplemented by one of a more familiar kind. The 
result of this usage was to give to the prose style a greater 
flexibility of rhythm, while, in course of time, the double 
forms, having become "desynonymised," furnished abundant 
material for the expression of slight shades of meaning. 
other important effect of a certain section of these classical 
borrowings was to give an impetus to the art of forming 
compounds, which, though much practised in the earliest 
English period, had been somewhat neglected in Middle 
English times. Chapman's translation of Homer, in par- 
ticular, brought before the age many Homeric compounds, 
such as "thunder-loving Jove," "the ever-shining eyes," 
"fresh-sprung herbs" and "welI-greaved Greeks." Many of 
these forms were preserved in the language, and from this 
period date some of the happiest of Pope's compound epithets. 
Besides these new words of classical origin, there were 

Literary Influence on the Vocabulary 

style was being modified by the Cinque-cento, English buildings 
were being constructed after Italian designs and Italian 
treatises were being turned into English; in consequence, 
such words as "belvedere," "antic," "grotta" and "portico" 
became familiar. The jargon of the Italian fencing-schools 
also became fashionable, as a result of the displacement of 
the old broadsword by the foreign rapier: the Bobadils of 
the day talked freely of the "punto," "reverso," "stoccato" 
and "passado." 
Dutch borrowings must also be mentioned, though not 
numerically large. They were introduced by English ad- 
venturers who had fought against Spain in the Netherlands, 
and who, on their return home, larded their conversation 
with Dutch phrases there acquired : "eastcrling," "beleaguer," 
"burgomaster," "domineer" and "forlorn hope" are instances 
of such additions. Similarly, oriental words, such as "car- 
away," "garbled," "gog," "dcrzish '' and ' 'divan," witness 
to extended nautical enterprise; each account of a voyage 
contained a host of such words, which might or might not 
become naturalised. 
While the language, so far as its vocabulary was con- 
cerned, thus kept pace with the expansion of national life 
and thought, by means of borrowing from abroad, it was 
also subject to certain internal influences. Literary men, 
in general, extended the vocabulary by indulging in coinages; 
but more important than this was the vogue given to certain 
words and phrases in consequence of their happy use by 
some of the great writers. Such expressions were stamped 
with permanency and became current coin of the highest 
In the first place, new formations, devised by contem- 
porary writers out of material ready at hand, represent an 
appreciable extension of the normal vocabulary, though, in 
many cases, they were not to prove permanent. A host of 
newly-coined compounds are scattered in the works of the 
time and represent the operation of various devices upon a 
plastic stage of the language. A spirited style would produce 
sonorous compounds like "sky-bred chirpers," "heart-scalding 
sighs," "home-keeping wits" and "cloud-capt towers." A 
satirical effect might be obtained by onomatopoeic redupli- 

520 Language from Chaucer to Shakespeare 

Germanic languages, and which can be traced in Middle English, 
in such phrases as "Bevis is hed." It was, doubtless, a form 
which had come down in colloquial speech, for its early use in 
literature is only occasional, and it still occurs in moderu dia- 
lectal and colloquial expressions. Its more extended use in 
Elizabethan English points to the close connection which then 
existed between the spoken and literary languages. Another 
survival of an Old English form was that of participles in -ed, 
adjectival in their force and derived from nouns. In Old Eng- 
lish, there had occurred occasional words such as "hoferede" 
(hunch-backed), and, in Elizabethan times, the manufacture 
of such forms as "high-minded" and "barefaced" proceeded 
apace and added considerably to the power of expression. 
The earlier loss of inflections had begun by this date, 
however, to produce certain marked effects. What had once 
been a synthetic language had now become anal3dc, and 
it was in process of developing its expression under the new 
conditions. The immediate result was a vast number of 
experiments which often led to confused expressions, more 
especially as the brevity and conciseness formerly obtained 
with inflectional aids was still sought. Thus, ellipses were 
frequent, and almost any word that could be supplied from 
the context might be omitted. Intransitive verbs were used 
as transitive, 1 ordinary verbs as causal, 2 and the infinitive 
was used with the utmost freedom, for it had to represent 
active, passive and gerundial constructions. 3 
But if the loss of native inflections resulted in a certain 
freedom of expression, together with a corresponding amount 
of vagueness and confusion, it also led to some new and per- 
manent usages. In consequence of the fact that final -e had 
now become mute, many of the distinctions formerly effected 
by that suffLx were levelled, and the various parts of speech 
became interchangeable, as in modern English. Thus, ad- 
jectives could be used as adverbs,4 or, again, as nouns,5 
and nouns could be used as verbs. 6 
i Cf. "depart the field," "moralise this spectacle." 
2 Cf. "to fear (to terrify) the valiant." 
 Cf. "he is to teach " (=he is to be taught): "why blame you me to 
love you" (for loving you). 
4 Cf. " to run fast," " to rage fierce."  Cf. "the good," "the just." 
 Cf. "to man," " to paper." 

526 Language from Chaucer to Shakespeare 

clearness and precision, for the uninflected language was 
beginning to work out its expression under the new conditions. 
:For instance, the neuter form "its," which aimed at avoiding 
the confusion caused by the older use of "his," for both mas- 
culine and neuter, occurs as early as I598, though it was 
not until the second half of the seventeenth century that 
it was fully recognised. The suffix "self" was used more 
frequently to indicate reflexives, and a pronoun would often 
be inserted to help out an expression. But, generally speaking, 
clearness was not always the first aim, and, as often as not 
writers were content with an expression which sacrificed 
precision to brevity and pregnancy of utterance. 
With all its tendencies to run into confused expression, 
Elizabethan English was, however, pre-eminently the language 
of feeling, and it was such in virtue of its concrete and pictur- 
esque character and its various devices for increasing vividness 
of presentment. In the first place, it contained precisely 
the material for expressing thought with a concreteness and 
a force not since possible. Comparatively poor in abstract 
and learned words, though these were being rapidly acquired, 
it abounded in words which had a physical signification, 
and which conveyed their meaning with splendid strength 
and simplicity. And this accounts for the felicitous diction 
of the Bible translations. The Hebrew narratives were made 
up of simple concrete terms and objective facts, and the 
English of that time, from its very constitution, reproduced 
these elements with a success that would have been impossible 
for the more highly developed idiom of later times. Between 
the Hebrew idiom and that of the Elizabethan, in short, 
there existed certain clear affinities, which Tindale had fully 
Then, again, this absence of general and abstract terms 
gave to Elizabethan English a picturequeness all its own. 
The description of the Psalmist's despair as a "sinking in 
deep mire," or a "coming into deep waters," is paralleled 
in character on almost every page of Elizabethan work; and 
it was this abundance of figurative language which favoured 
Euphuism, and which constituted something of the later 
charrns of Fuller and Sir Thomas Browne. Nor can the 
effect of a number of picturesque intensives be overlooked, 

Its Musical Resources 52 7 

as seen in the phrases "clean starved," "passing strange," 
"shrewdly vexed" and "to strike home." The discarding 
of these intensives and the substitution of eighteenth century 
forms like "vastly" and "prodigiously," and the nineteenth 
century "very" and "quite," have resulted in a distinct loss 
of vigour and colour, t 
Further, the Elizabethan writer had at his command 
certain means for heightening the emotional character of a 
passage and for increasing the vividness of presentment. 
Thus, the discriminating use of "thou" and "you" could 
depict a variety of feeling in a way, and with a subtlety, no 
longer possible. "You" was the unimpassioned form which 
prevailed in ordinary speech among the educated classes, 
whereas "thou" could express numerous emotions such as 
anger, contempt, familiarity, superiority, or love. The ethical 
dative, 2 too, added to the vividness of expression, suggesting, 
as it did, the interest felt by either the speaker or the hearer; 
while even the illogical double negatives3 and double com- 
paratives4 were capable of producing a heightening effect in 
the language of passion. 
The freedom and brevity, the concrete and picturesque 
character, of Elizabethan English, were, therefore, among the 
qualities which rendered it an effective medium of literary 
thought. At the same time, the language is seen to lend 
itself easily to rhythmical and harmonious expression, and 
it is not improbable that the sixteenth century translators 
of the Bible were among the first to realise with any adequacy 
the musical resources of the vernacular, they themselves 
having been inspired by the harmonies of their Latin models. 
The language of the Vulgate was certainly familiar to sixteenth 
century readers, and the translators must have xvorked with 
its rhythm and its tones ringing in their ears; while the close 
resemblance between the constructions and word-order of the 
Latin text and those used in English would render it an easier 
task to reproduce other qualities of that text. At all events, 
in the Biblical translations and the liturgy of the sixteenth 

Cf., also, the substitution of "certainly,"_ "indeed," for "i'faith," 
i'sooth," "iwis," "certes." 
E.g. "villain knock me this gate." sE.g." nor no further in sport neither." 
E.g. " more elder." 

Elizabethan and Modern English 

determined by the native method of accentuation; the 
majority of words of more than one syllable developed, natu- 
rally, a trochaic, iambic, or dactylic rhythm, and these were 
the elements out of which the stately blank verse and the many 
lyrical forms were built. Another inherent disability under 
which Elizabethan English laboured was that its word-order 
was necessarily more fixed, and, therefore, less elastic, than 
was the case with the highly inflected languages of antiquity, 
which required no such rigidity of position. Furthernore, 
its grammatical forms lacked variety and, while it abounded 
in monosyllabic words, it was short of the much-resounding 
polysyllabic words, so that a rhythmical grace was not so 
inevitable as in Latin or Greek. 
In the centuries which have followed the age of Elizabeth, 
the language has undergone many changes, and these changes 
may be roughly summarised, first, as the extension of the 
vocabulary to keep pace with the ever-widening thought, and, 
secondly, as the adaptation of the structure of the language to 
clearer and more precise expression. In the course of time, 
the numerous national activities, the pursuits of science and 
art, of commerce and politics, have enriched its expression 
with their various terminologies. Literal uses have become 
metaphorical, concrete terms, abstract; many words have 
depreciated in meaning, and the line has been drawn more 
rigidly between words literary and non-literary. There has 
been in the language what Coleridge calls "an instinct of 
growth, working progressively to desynonymise those 
words o[ originally the same meaning," and this division o[ 
labour has enabled the language to express finer shades of 
thought. The verbal conjugation has been enriched, the 
elements which made for vagueness have been removed and 
in every way the language has adapted itself to a scientific age, 
which requires, before all things, clear, accurate and precise 
But Elizabethan English, alone among the earlier stages 
of our language, still plays a part in modem intellectual life. 
Thanks to the English Bible, the prayer-book and Shake- 
speare, it has never become really obsolete. Its diction and 
its idioms are still familiar, endeared and consecrated by 
sacred association. It yet remains the inspiration of our 

VOL. III--34 




Blomfield, R. 
e vols. 
Botfield, B. 
Brchnond, H. 

Allen, P. S. Opus Epistolarum Desiderii Erasmi Roterodami denuo recogni- 
turn et auctum. Vol. 1. Oxford, 19o6. 
Altmeyer, J. J. Les prcurseurs de la Rforme aux Pays-bas. Brussels, 
1886. [Vol. I deals with Erasmus.] 
AmeNci Vesputii Navigationes (appended to Cosmographiae Introductio). 
St. Di, x5 o7. 
Amiel, E. Un libre-pensettr du xvme sicle: trasme. Paris, 1889. 
Bibliotheca Erasmiana: Rpertoire des (Euvres d'trasme. Ghent, x893. 
 Bibliographie des eeuvres d'lrasme Ghent, 1897. 
A History of Renaissance architecture in England,  5oo-t 8oo. 
Prefaces to the first editions of the Greek and Roman Classics. 

Sir Thomas More. Trans. Child, H. x9o 4. 
Bridgett, T.E. The life and writings of Sir Thomas More, Lord Chancellor 
of England and Martyr under Henry VIII. end ed. 189e. 
 Life of Blessed John Fisher. 1888. 
Buchanan, George. Rudimenta grammatices T. Linacri ex Anglico sermone 
in Latinum . . . G.B. PaNs, 1533 (and later editions). 
Buisson, F. Rpertoire des ouvrages pdagogiques du xvme sicle. PaNs, 
 Sbastien Castellion: Sa vie et son oeuvre, e vols. PaNs, 189e. 
Burigny, Leveresque de. Vie d']rasme. Paris, 757. 
Burrows, M. On Grocyn and Linacre. In Oxford Historical Society. 
Collectanea, I. 189o. 
Caius, John (15xo-73), refounder and master of Gonville Hall, Cambridge; 
editor and translator of Galen. His Boke or Counseill against the 
Disease commonly called the Sweate or Sweatyng Sicknesse 55e, in 
English and in Latin, "is the classical account of that remarkable 
epidemic": J. Bass Mullinger in D. of N. B. 
Cayley, Sir A. Memoirs of Sir Thomas More. x8o8. 
Colet, John. Daily Devotions, or the Christian's Morning and Evening 
Sacrifice. eend ed. 1Tee. [=A righte fruitfull admonition concerning 
the order of a good Christian man's life, 534 ff-] 
 Opus de Sacramentis Ecclesiae. Ed. Lupton, J. I-I. (also of the follow- 
ing books). 867. 

534 Bibliography to 

Lee, S. Great Englishmen of the sixteenth century. nd ed. x9o 7. [For 
Sir Thomas More, etc.] 
Leland, John. Commentarn de Scriptorbus Britannicis. Oxford, x7o9. 
Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, of the Reign of Henry VIII. 
(Roils Series.) x867, etc. 
Lilly, W. Renaissance Types. (Ill, Erasmus: Iv, More.) x9o4. 
Ldy, W. [For details of the early editions of Lily's Grammar, see Lupton, 
J. H., in D. of N. B.] 
Linacre, Thomas. Galen de Temperamentis. Ed. Payne, J.P. Cambridge, 
x88x. [" One of the first books printed at Cambridge, and said to be the 
first printed in England in which Greek types were used." J.F.P. in 
D. of N. B.] 
Lupton, J.H. Life of John Colet, Dean of St. Paul's. i887. [The standard 
Machly. Angelus Politianus. Ein Colturbild aus der Renaissance. Leipzig, 
Manning, A. The Household of Sir Thomas More. x85x ft. 
Milman, H.H. Savonarola, Erasmus .... 87o. 
More, Cresacre. Life and death of Sir Thomas More. Ed. tiunt, J. 
More, Sir Thomas. Opera omnia quotquot reperiri potuerant ex Basiliensi 
anni x563, et Lovaniensi anni 566, editionibus depromta. Frankfurt- 
on-Maine and Leipzig, 689. 
 The Workes of Sir Thomas More, Knyghte, sometyme Lorde Chancel- 
lour of England, wrytten by him in the Englysh tonge. 557- [See Lee, 
S., D. of N. B., for a complete list of More's English and Latin writings.] 
 Poems (English), rptd. from the folio of  557 in  906 (Methuen's Stand- 
ard Library). [The Mery Jest how a Sergeaunt wolde lerne to be a 
Frere is also contained in Hazlitt's Early Popular Poetry, vol. III, x 866.] 
 Utopia. In Latin. Louvain, x56 (rptd. in Lateinische Litteratur- 
denkmtler des xv u. xvI Jahrhunderts. Berlin, x895. Ed. Michels, V. 
and Ziegler, T.). 
 English translations of the Utopia: Robynson, Raphe, A fruteful and 
pleasaunt worke of the beste state of a publyque weale, and of the newe 
yle called Utopia : written in Latyne by Syr Thomas More, Knyght, and 
translated into Englyshe by Raphe Robynson, citizen and goldsmith of 
London, at the procurement and earnest request of George Tadlowe, 
citizen and haberdasher of the same citie, x55x. Robinson's translation 
of the Utopia has been often republished and re-edited. See editions: 
x869, in Arber's English Reprints; x879, ed. Lumby, J. R., Cambridge; 
x893, Kelmscott Press, ed. Morris, W. and Ellis, F. S. ; x895; x898 (ed. 
Steele, R., contains a useful bibliography). The edition of x895 is 
entitled: The Utopia of Sir Thomas More, in Latin from the editionof 
March, x58, and in English from the first edition of Ralph Robynson's 
translation, with additional translations, introduction and notes by 
Lupton, J. H., Oxford, x895. A trans, of the Utopia was also made by 
bp. Burner in 684, and has been often republished. A third trans, was 
made by Sir A. Cayley, and is included in the second volume of his 
Memoirs of Sir Thomas More, x8o8. 
Morley, H. English Writers. Vol. vii. xSox. [Contains useful biblio- 
graphies of Linacre, Grocyn, Colet, More, Fisher, Tindale, etc.] 
Mfiller, A. Leben des Erasmus. Hamburg, x828. 

Chapter II 539 

Fulke, Win. Defence of the sincere and true translations of the Holy 
Scriptures into English tongue. Ed. Hartshorne, N. C. Parker Soc. 
Joye, George. An Apologye made by George Joye to satisfye (if it may be) 
W. Tindale to pourge and defende himself ageinst many sclaunderouse 
lyes feyned upon him in T.'s uncharitable and unsober epistle, i534 
(reprinted by Arber in Eng. Scholars' Library, i883). I535. There has 
been much confusion early and late between Roy and Joye. Joye was a 
fellow of Peterhouse, and helped Tindale in his controversy with More. 
Wm Roy, author of Rede me and be not wrothe (see Arber's reprint, 
I87I), helped Tindale in the N.T. See also in Arber's same reprint A 
Compendious olde Treatyse hoxve that we ought to have the Scripture 
in Englysshe, written by a Lollard about i45o; and A proper dyaloge 
betwene a gentillman and a husbandman eche complaynynge to other 
their miserable calamitie through the ambicion of the clergye. He 
translated Erasmus's An exhortation to the dilygent study of Scripture 
(Hans Luft, i529; see Sayle, 6271). For bibliography and history of all 
these works see Arber's reprint of 1871. (For both Joye and Roy see D. 
of N. B.) 
Lever, Thos. Sermons. Reprinted by Arber. 187 i. 
Ridley, Nicholas (5oo ?-55), studied at the Sorbonne and Louvain, as well 
as at Cambridge. As master of Pembroke, bp. of Rochester (1547) 
and bp. of London (155o), he had great influence. He is poorly repre- 
sented by his extant writings: A briel declaration of the Lorde's Supper 
(1555), reprinted by Moule in 1895; Certen godly, learned and com- 
fortable Conferences betwene N.R., late Bysshope of London, and 
Hughe Latymer. sometime Bysshope of Worcester, whereunto is added 
a Treatise ag t the error of Transubstantiation by N.R. Works edited 
by Christmas, H., for Parker Society, 1843. 


Fisher, John, bp. of Rochester and cardinal (1459 ?-1535)- His English works 
(E.E.T.S. Ex. Set. xxw0 collected by Mayor, J. E.B. See Mullinger's 
University of Cambridge (vol. 0; Thos. Baker's History of S. John's 
College, edited by Mayor, 2 vols., 1869; ante, p., 533 and Vol. IV of 
the present work. 
Gardiner, Stephen, bp. of Winchester (1483?-1555). His works, mainly in 
Latin, have great historic significance as well as merit, and some MSS. 
in the Corpus College library, Cambridge, are still unprinted. To be 
noted are: A Declaration of those articles G. Joy hath gone about to 
confute, 1546 [Sayle: 759-6o]; An explanation and assertion of the true 
Catholick Faith, touching the most blessed Sacrament of the Aulter, 
Rouen, 1551 (see also Cranmer's share in the controversy) [Sayle: 
6718]: A detection of the Devil's sophistrie, wherewith he robbeth 
the unlearned people of the true byleef in the most blessed Sacrament of 
the Aulter, 1546 [Sayle: 1761 ]. 
Lupset, Thos. (14987-153o), Cambridge scholar and friend of Linacre, More, 
Erasmus and Pole. His works in English were valuable and often re- 
printed: A treatise of Charity, 1529, 1535, 1539, 1546 ; An Exhortation 
to yonge men, 153o and passim; A compendious and a very Fruteful 
Treatyse, teachynge the waye of Dyenge well, 1534. Collected works, 
1545, 1546, I56o. 

Chapter II 54t 

Cheney, J.L. The Sources of Tindale's N.T., in Anglia, vol. vt, ,883, pp. 
277-3 r 6. [A detailed calculation of his sources.] 
Darlow, T. H. and Moule, H.F. Historical Catalogue of the Printed Edi- 
tions of Holy Scripture in the Library of the British and Foreign Bible 
Society. 2 vols. Vol. t, English. x9o 3. 
Dor, J.R. Old Bibles. 2nded. x888. 
Fry, F. A bibliographical description of the eds. of the N.T. Tyndale's 
version, x 878. 
Hoare, H.W. The Evolution of the English Bible. x9oI. 
Howorth, Sir Henry H. The origin and authority of the Biblical Canon in the 
Anglican Church. In the Journal of Theological Studies, October, i9o6, 
pp. I-4o. [Gives the history of the Apocrypha in the English Versions ] 
Law, T.G. (ed). The New Testament in Scots, being Purvey's Revision of 
Wycliffe's version turned into Scots by Murdoch Nisbet, c. I52o. Ed. 
from the unique MS. in the possession of Lord Amherst of Hackney. 
3 vols. Scottish Text Society. [Joseph Hall wrote the notes in vols. 11 
and 1t, and was responsible for the text of the whole work.] See useful 
note in Chambers's Cycl. of Eng. Lit. vol. t, p. 2  3- 
Lupton, J. H., on English Versions in Hastings's Biblical Dictionary, pp. 236 
ft. [Also an article by Bebb, LI. J. M., on Continental Versions in the 
same volume.] 
Milligan, G. Article on Versions (English) in Hastings's Dictionary of the 
Bible. Edinburgh, i9oo-4. 
Mombert, J.L. English Versions of the Bible. New ed. i9o 7 . See 
Athenaeum, i8 April and 2 May, r885. 
Moulton, R.G. The Literary Study of the Bible. (Revised.) i899. 
Rylands Library, Manchester, The John. Catalogue of an Exhibition of 
Bibles illustrating the History of the English Versions from Wiclif to 
the present time. Manchester, 7 March, r9o4. 
Westcott, B. P. A General Viev of the History of the English Bible. 
Third edition revised by Aldis Wright, W. i9o 5. [Invaluable both for 
its general view and its details.] 
NOT. A useful list of editions of the Bible is given in Dixon's History, 
vol. t, pp. i7o ft. Also one in Westeott (ed. Aldis Wright). 


The Booke of the Common Prayer and Affaintracion of Sacramentes, and 
other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church after the use of the Church 
of England. Londoni in Officina Edouardi Whitchurche cure privilegio 
ad imprimendum solum, i549. Mense Martii. 
The Boke of Common Prayer and Administracion of the Sacramentes and 
other Rites and Ceremonies in the Church of England. Londini, in 
Officina Edwardi Whytechurche. Cure privilegio ad imprimendum 
solum, i55. 
The Boke of Common Praier and Administration of the Sacramentes, and 
other Rites and Ceremonies in the Church of England. Londoni in 
Officina Richardi Graftoni cure privilegio Regie Maiestatis. x559- 
Forrnularies of Faith set forth by the King's authority during the reign of 
Henry VIII. Oxford, I856. 
Batiffol, P. Histoire du Brdviaire Romain. Paris, x893. Translated as 
History of the Roman Breviary, by Baylay, A. M.V. i898. 

Chapter IV 547 

A replycacion agaynst certayne yong scolers, abjured of late .... Pynson. 
No date. 
Magnyfycence, A goodly interlude and a mery devysed and made by mayster 
Skelton poet laureate late deceasyd. (Rastell.) No date (15337). 
Magnyfycence. A Moral Play by John Skelton. Ed. by Ramsay, R. L. 
E.E.T.S. Ex. Set. xcwL 19o8. 
Here after foloweth certaine bokes c6pyled by mayster Skelt6, loet Laureat, 
whose names here after shall appere. Speake Parot. The death of the 
noble lrynce Kynge Edwarde the fourth. A treatyse of the Scottes. 
Ware the Hawke. The Tunnynge of Elynoure Rummyng. John 
Kynge and Thomas Marche. No date. Another edition by Jhon Daye, 
no date; and a third by Richard Lant, for Henry Tab, no date. 
lithy pleasaunt and profitable workes of maister Skelton, Poete Laureate. 
Nowe collected and newly published. Anno i568. Imprinted at Lon- 
don in Fletestreate, neare unto saint Dunstones churche by Thomas 
The Poetical Works of John Skelton: with notes, and some account of the 
author and his writings. Ed. Dyce, A. 2 vols. I843. [Standard 
Masteres anne I am your man .... published in E. Stud. xxxwi, p. 29, 
by Ft. Brie. 
Recule against Gaguyne, beginning: How darest thow swere or be so bolde 
also .... printed in E. Stud. xxxvL p. 32, by Ft. Brie. 
Colyn Cloute. MS. Harl. 5. fol. 47.Fragment in MS. Lansdown 
fol. 75- 
Edwarde the forth, Of the death of the noble prince, Kynge. 
Gaguyne, Recule ageinst. MS. Trinity College, Cambridge, O. 2. 53, fol. 
165 b. 
Garlande of Laurell. MS. Cotton. Vitellius E. x, fol. 2oo. 
Garnesche, Poems against. MS. Harl. 367, fol. o. 
Manerly Margery Mylk and Ale. Fairfax MS.--Add. MSS. (Brit. Mus.), 
5465, fol. io 9. 
Masteres anne. Trinity College, Cambridge, R. 3- 47 (on fly-leaf). 
Northumberlande, Vpon the doulourus dethe and touche lamentable chaunce 
of the most honorable Erle of. MS. Reg. i8, D ii, fol. I65. 
Rose both White and Rede, The .... Records of the Treasury of the Receipt 
of the Exchequer. B. 2.8 (pp. 67-69). 
Speke, Parrot. MS. Harl. 2252, fol. i33. 
Unpublished: Translation of Diodorus Siculus, MS. 357, Corpus Christi 
College, Cambridge. (Edition for the E.E.T.S. in preparation.) 

Brie, Friedrich. Skelton Studien. (E. Stud. xxxvlL pp. 1-86.) 
Koelbing, Arthur. Zur Charakteristik John Skelton's. Stuttgart, I9o4. 
Lee, S. Dictionary of National Biography, vol. LI, pp. 327--332. 
Rey, Albert. Skelton's satirical poems in their relation to Lydgate's 
Order of Fools, Cock Lorell's Bore and Barclay's Ship of Fools. 
Berne, 1899. 
Saintsbury, G. A History of English Prosody. I9o6. Vol. L pp. 24o ft. 
Thftrnmel, Arno. Studien fiber John Skelton. Leipzig-Reudnitz, 19o 5. 

548 Bibliography to 

Arber, Edward. English Reprints. William Roy and Jerome Barlow. 
Rede me and be not Wrothe. i528. I895. 
 A Proper Dyalogue betwene a Gentillman and a Husbandman, etc. 
I53o. I895. 
/3lack. W.H. The Enterlude of John/3on and Mast Person. Percy Society. 
Hazlitt, W. Carew. Remains of the Early Popular Poetry of England. 
Collected and edited, with Introductions and Notes. i866. (Vols. Ii 
Herford, C.H. Studies in the Literary Relations of England and Germany 
in the Sixteenth Century. Cambridge, i886. 
For further works on German influences, see below and also the biblio- 
graphies to the cognate sections in the drama volumes of the present work. 




Cock Lorell's/3ote. Wynkyn de Worde, c. 5o. Fragment in Garrick Coll. 
/3.3I. Rptd. in Maidment's Publications, XLVL I84o; Percy Society by 
E. F. Rimbault, xxx, I843; Roxburghe Club, xII, i8i 7. [Cock Lorell 
quoted in S. Rowlands's list of professional rogues but not in Harman's. 
Among the numerous allusions to this character, I3en Jonson's is the 
most important, i.e. Cooke Laurell (rptd. Roxburghe Coll., vol. , p. -145 
and Percy Folio MS., 1867), in which Cock invites the Devil to dinner, the 
menu, fit for such a guest, involving satire on social types.] 
Vide Herford, C. H., Literary Relations of England and Germany in 
the Sixteenth Century, Cambridge, i886; Pt n, chap. 6. 
Geiler, J. (von Iaisersberg). Navicula, sire speculum fatuorum, cure 
figuris. Argent. i5 Ix. Le grand nauffraige des folz, qui sont en la 
nef dinsipience navigeans en la met de ce monde, livre de grand effect, 
profit, utilitY, valeur, honneur et moralle vertu,  l'instruction de routes 
gens. Paris: Denys Janot, s.d. Pimlyco, or, Runne Red-cap. /3usbie, 
J. and Loftis, G. 6o 9. Rptd. in Antient Drolleries (No. ), Oxford, 
i891  The hospitall of incurable fooles, erected in English, /3ellifant, E. 
i6o (Trans. from T. Garzoni). 
The Galley late come into Englande from Terra Nova, laden with Phisitiens 
Apothecaries and Chirurgiens. Quoted by J. Halle but not elsewhere 
alluded to. 

( I ) Latin Origins o Testaments 

Testamentum Grunnii Corocottae Porcelli. Described by Alex. Brassicanus 
(German grammarian, d. 539) from MS. at Mayence. Rptd. Fani, 
15 o5 ; included in Facetiae Domenichi, 1548 ; and Nugae Venales, x 74r- 
Probably influenced Wyl Bucke and The Passion of the Fox. Grunnius 
leaves the different parts of his body to those likely to appreciate the 
bequests; his teeth go to the quarrelsome, his tongue to lawyers and the 
rope he brought from the forest to the cook to hang himself withal. 
Testamentum Canis. Facetiae Poggii. First printed, 

Chapter V 553 

The defence agaynst them that commonly defame women. Allde, J., 156o. 
(A "ballett. ") 
A Defence for Mylke Maydes. Gryffyth, W., 1563-4. 
The prayse and dysprayse of women. Entered by Serlle, R., 1563-4, 
but printed by How with name of author, C. Pyrrye, on title- 
page. n.d. 
A balett intituled the frutes of love and falsehood of Women. Allde, J., 
1567-8. The deceate of Women. Allde, J., 1568-9. (Perhaps a re- 
A new baler, entituled howe to Wyve well, by Lewys Evans. Printed by 
Rogers, O., n.d. (Soc. of Antiq.) 
This form of the controversy continued till the 18th cent., e.g. Love given 
over, or, a Satyr against the Pride, Lust and Inconstancy, etc., of Women, 
with Sylvia's Revenge, or, a Satyr against Man, in answer to the Satyr 
against Woman.  7  o. 
Cf. In Prays of Woman and Ballate aganis Evill Women, in Dunbar's 

(6) E)glish Satirical Portraiture o[ I|'omen 

[Cf. Skelton's Tunnyng of Elynour Rummyng and Dunbar's Tua hfariit 
Wemen and the Wedo.] 
Boke of hlayd Emlyn, The. John Skot, n.d. Re-ed. by Rimbault, E. F., 
in Anc. Poet, Tracts, Percy Soc. xxvtI, i842, and by Hazlitt, W. C., 
Early English Pop. Poetry, vol. xv, p. 81. 
[For other allusions to the wife of five successive hushands, vide 
Wife of Bath's Prologue and A C. Mery Talys, viii and 
Twelve mery gestys of one called Edyth, the lyeing wydow whyche still 
lyveth. Rastell, J., 15- 5. Rptd.Jhones, R., t573. Re-ed. Hazlitt, W. 
C., Shakespeare Jest-books, i864, vol. 
[The same picture of feminine drinking bouts and horse play is found 
in the jest-book Life of Long Meg of Westminster, of which the earliest 
surviving copy of i635 is probably a reprint of a previous edition 
of the age of Elizabeth. Re-ed. by Triphook, R., Miscellanea Antiqua 
Anglicana, 1816, and Hindley, C., in the Old Book Collector's Miscellany, 
I872 , vol. II.] 
Proude Wyves Paternoster, The. Imprinted, Kynge, J., i56o. 
Charlwood, J., 1581-2. Re-ed., Select Pieces of Early Popular Poetry 
1817; Hazlitt, W. C., Early English Popular Poetry, vol. xv, 147. Re- 
viewed in J. P. Collier's Bibliographical and Critical Account of Early 
English Literature. 1865 . 
Compare La Patenostre  l'Userier and La Credo  l'Userier, in which 
the ecclesiastical Latin is intermingled with reflections on moneymaking; 
Patenostre d'Amours, in which a lover utters his regrets at the diffi- 
culty of seeing his lady (Mon : Fabliau,x et Contes, 18o8, vol. iv, p. 44 I) 
Credo au Ribaut, in which a debauchee regrets his dissolute life. 

A Commyssion unto all those whose wyves be thayre masters. Lacy, Alex. 
1564- 5 . 
Merry Jeste of a Shrewde and Curste Wyfe lapped in Morrelles skin. Im- 
printed by Jackson, H., n.d. (156o-7o?). Rptd in Shakespeare Soc., 
1844; Utterson, Select Pieces of Early English Popular Poetry, 18t7; 
Hazlitt, W. C., Early English Popular Poetry, vol. Iv, p.  79- 

Chapter V 555 

[For origin and development of "ana," which are principally an off-shoot 
of classicism and have little or no connection with these story books, v/de 
Wolf, or Wolfius, J. C., Preface to Casauboniana, x 7 xo.] 
Sack-FullofNews, The. Registered, 1557. Rptd. i582, 1587, I673. Re-ed. 
by Halliwell, J. O., I86I ; Hazlitt, W. C., Jest-books, 2nd series, I864. 
Merie Tales of the Mad Men of Gotam, gathered together by A.B. of Phisike 
Doctour (supposed, without other evidence, to be Andrew Boorde). 
Colwell, T., n.d. Rptd. by Alsop, R. and Fawcet, T., i63o. Re-ed. by 
Halliwell, J. O., I84o, and by Hazlitt, W. C., Jest-books, und series, 1864. 
A uthorit ies: " 
Chandler, F.W. The Literature of Roguery (in Types of English Litera- 
ture). 19o7 . Vol. x. Chap. ix. (Subject discussed from the point of view 
of the picaresque novel.) 
Doran, J. Hist. of Court Fools. i858. 
Douce, F. Illustr. of Shakspr. (Diss. on Clowns and Fools). x8o 7. 
(Both indirectly illustrate the jest-books by emphasising the popularity 
of fools' jests and tricks.) 
Hazlitt, W.C. Preface to Jests New and Old. i887. 
 Studies in Jocular literature, i89o. 
(Both treat of the evolution of the jest.) 
Herford, C.H. Literary Relations of England and Germany in the Sixteenth 
Century. Cambridge, i886. Pt. Ii, chap. v. (Traces the reappearance 
of the legends of Markolf, Parson of Kalenberg, Eulenspiegel and Friar 
Wright, T. Hist. of Caricature and Grotesque. I865. Chap. xv (Treats 
of personal element in jest-books.) 
Books o] Riddles 
Booke of Merry Riddles. Earliest known ed. (almost certainly a reprint) by 
Allde, Ed.,I600. ReprintsxrxT, x629,x631, x66o, i672. Theed. ofx629 
is re-ed, in J. O. Halliwell's Literature of the xvth and xviith centuries 
illustrated, I85I, I866 and, separately, in i866. 
Delectable Demaundes and pleasant Questions, with their several answers in 
/Iatters of Love. i566. (Trans. from Alain Chattier.) 
Demafides Joyous, The. Printed by W. de Worde, 15i . Rptd. in J. Timb's 
Literary World, I839, and sometimes attached to Hartshorne's Anc. 
/Ietrical Tales, I829. 
Mery demandes and answere (s/c) thereunto, The. Rogers, O., I564-5. 
Probably the same as the Budget of Demands mentioned in Captain 
Cox's library (i575). See Collier, J. P., Extracts from Stationers' 
Registers (1848), vol. i, p. 94. 
Riddles of Heraclitus and Democritus. Hatfield, A., for Norton, J., 
[The Demafides Joyous and the Booke of Riddles are classed with the 
Ship of Fooles or the C. Mery Talys, and "other excellent writers both witty 
and pleasaunt" in the 2nd ed. of The English Courtier and the Countrey- 
Gentleman, 1586.] 
For the large number of jest-books and story-books of the 17th century to 
be considered in vol. iv, vide Hazlitt, W. C., Shakespeare Jest-books, 3rd series 
I864; Hazlitt, W. C., Handbook to Early English Literature, I867, p. 

Chapter V 559 

Vox Populi Vox Dei. z5z5-2o. A complaint of the Commons against over 
taxation. Re-ed. by Furnivall, F. J., in Ballads from MSS. in Ballad 
Society, ,82,, with a number of other MS. Tracts bearing on the same 
subject; by Dyce, A., in Poetical Works of Skelton, Appendix zx; 
Hazlitt, W. C., E.E.P.P. vol. x,x, 267. 
Liber Vagatortma, Der Betler Orden Augsburg, by Oglin, E., ,5x2-4 (xst 
section gives account of the orders of the Fraternity, 2nd section gives 
notabilia concerning them, 3rd has "Rotwelsche Voc. "). Translated 
in x58 under title Von der falschen Betler bfieberey, with preface by 
Luther. Translation by Hotten, J. C., The book of Vagabonds and 
Beggars, x86o. V/de Wiemarisches Jrbuch, x, x856. 
Hye Way to the Spyttel Hous, The. Printed by Copland, R., n.d. Re-ed. 
Utterson's Select Pieces of E. P. P., xSxT, vol. **, p. x; Hazlitt, W. C., 
E.E.P.P. vol. zv, p. z7. 
A ballett called the description of vakaboundes. Sampson, alias Awdeley, 
x56x. Now lost, unless it was an earlier version of the Fraternitye. 
Fraternitye of Vacabones. Printed by Awdeley, J., ,56. Rptd. 565, 
x575. Re-ed. by Viles, E. and Furnivall, F. J., for Shakespeare Library, 
x9o7, as Rogues and Vagabonds of Shakspeare's Youth. 
A Ballette ascrybynge the manner of the Rogges. Alex. Lacye, ,563-4. 
A Caveat or Warening for Commen Corsetors vulgarely called Vagabones, 
set forth by Thomas Harman, Esquiere. xst ed. is lost. nd ed. 
"augmented and inlarged by the fyrst author hereof," printed by 
Gryffith, W., z567. Re-ed. by Hindley, C., in The Old Book Collector s 
Miscellany, x87x, vol. ,, and by Viles and Furnivall in Rogues and Vaga- 
bonds, *9o7, together with Parson Hyberdyne's Sermon in Praise of 
thieves and thievery (a goliardic parody similar in spirit to such medieval 
tracts as Missa de Potatoribus and Officium Lusorum and such later 
(638) ? extravagancies as D. Heinsius, Laus Pediculi). 
A Dyaloge betwene ij beggers. Coplande, W., x567-8. 
A ballett intituled of the Cutt pursses. Howe, W., x 567-8. 
A ballet intituled of Robbers and Shelters. Grefleth, W'., x 568-9. 
A uthorit ies: 
Black, G.F. Bibliography of Gipsies. (About to be published.) 
Chandler, F.W. The Literature of Roguery (Types of English Literature). 
x9o 7. Chap. i considers beggar books as a link in the development of 
the picaresque novel, with exhaustive bibliography. 
Eden, Sir F.M. The State of the Poor. 3 vols. x797. 
Frianoro, R. I1 Vagabondo. x67. (Translated into French, z644, as Le 
Vagabond ou l'histoixe et le charactere de la malice et des fourberies de 
ceux qui courent le monde atux despens d'autruy.) 
Histoire Gnrale des Larrons. x636. 
Hotten, J.C. Introduction to his translation of the Liber Vagatorum (The 
Book of Vagabonds and Beggars. x86o). 
Inventionz subtilitez et entreprinses practiquees par plusieurs estats des 
royaumes, provinces, villes et republiques, descouverts contre les larrons 
de toutes qualitez. Au Pon. A.M, x6=4. 
Jusserand, J. J. English Wayfaring Life in the Middle Ages. Trans. 
Smith, L. T. 8th ed. n.d. 

560 Bibliography to 

Smith, J. T. 
to modern times.) 
Turner, C. J. Ribton. 
Begging. x887. 

llendicant Wanderers. x883. (A brief review of the class 
A Hist. of Vagrants and Vagrancy and Beggars and 


Boorde, Andrew. 
The fyrst boke of the Introduction of Knowledge. 

Ptd. by Copland, W. 

Prob. composed x542 and published i547. Re-ed. by Furnivall, F. J., 
E.E.T.S. Ex. Set. x. t87o. 
Compendyous Regyment or a Dyetary of Helth. Ptd. by Wyer, R., x542. 
Re-ed. by Furnivall, F. J., ibid. 
Prognosticacion. x545. 
Breviarie of Health. Ptd. by Middleton, W., i547. Selections included in 
F. J. Furnivall's Forewords to Introduction of Knowledge, E.E.T.S. 
Ex. Set. x, i87o. Furnivall includes in the same volume The Treatyse 
Answerynge the boke of Berdes (lost tract by Boorde, condemning 
beards) compyled by Collyn Clout (Barnes). V/de Haslewood in Brit. 
Biblio. IV; Wood's Athen. Oxon. 7, pp. XTO, i82 (ed. Bliss). [The ,Iad 
Men of Gotam, Skoggan's Jests, The Mylner of Abyngton, Nos Vaga- 
bunduli, have been attributed to Andrew Boorde without sufficient 
Bullein, W. 
Gouvernement of Healthe. Ptd. Daye, J., i558- 9. Rptd., x559, I595. 
A Comfortable Regiment. t562. 
Bulleins Bulwarke of Deface againste Sicknes, Sornes and woundes that dooe 
daily assaulte 3Iankinde, by Kyngston, Thorn. x562. An edition by 
Marshe, T. was registered 1562- 3. 
An Almanack and Prognostication. Vele, A., i563-4. 
A Dialogue both pleasaunte and pietifull . . . against the fever Pestilence 
with a Consolacion and Comfort against death, by Kingston, Thorn., 
I564. (Prob. a rpt.) Rptd., 1573, 578. Re-ed. byBullen, M. W. and 
Bullen, A. H., for E.E.T.S. Ex. Ser. Ln, i888. 
Vertue and operation of Balsame. i885. 
Vide Wood's Ath. Oxon. 7, 538; Str)pe's Annals, 824, II, ii, 307-8, Iu, ii, 
53: Herbert's Ames, 629, 632,835,839, 862,868, i289, i343, 796. 
Halle, John (r529?-66?). 
Certayne Chapters taken out of the proverbs of Solomon . . . and Certayne 
Psalmes of David translated into English metre. Reynalde, T., x549. 
A Poesie in Forme of a Vision. Hall, R., t563. (A verse attack on sorcery, 
necromancy and quackery.) Vide British Bibliographer, n, 349. 
The Courte of Vertue, contayning many holy or spiretuall songes, sonnettes. 
Psalms, Balletts and Shorte Sentences. Marshe, T,, 565. (Vide War- 
ton's Hist. of Eng. Poetry, Iv; Ritson's Bibliographia Poetica, 32-3.) 
Chirurgia parva Lanfranci . . . reduced from dyvers translations to our 
vulgar or usuall frase . . . by John Halle Chirurgien, who hath therunto 
necessarily annexed . . . An Historiall expostulation also against the 
beastly abusers, both of Chyrurgerie and Phisicke in our tyme. Marshe, 
T., 1565 . Rpt. of Expostulation, by Pettigrew, T. J., for Percy Soc. xI, 
844. In I65I, there was added to a new ed. oI Recorde's Urinall of 
Physick an ingenious Treatise, concerning Physitians, Apothecaries and 
Chyrurgians, set forth by a Doctor of Queen Elizabeth's dayes. 

Chapter V 56 1 

Vide Ames's Typogr. Antlq., pp. 55 o, 584, 8o5,806, 854; Brydges's Brit. 
Bibl., II, 349-352; Granger's Biog. Hist. of Engl., 5th ed. I, 3o8; Ritson's 
Bibl. Poetica, p. 232; Tanner's Bibl. Brit., p. 372. 
Recorde, Robert, the physician (/. I54o-57). Titles of his dialogues: The 
Grounde of Artes, i542 (Arithmetic). The Urinall of Physick, I548. 
Pathway of Knowledge (Geometry.). Gate of Knowledge (Mensura- 
tion). Castel of Knowledge, I556 (Astronomy and Mathematics). 
Treasure of Knowledge (Astronomy). Whetstone of Witte (Algebra 
and Arithmetic, invents the sign = and explains how to extract a square 
Skeyne, Gilbert (i522?-99). Ane Breve Descriptioun of the Pest. Edin- 
burgh, I568. Ed. Skene, W. F. Bannatyne Club. Edinburgh, i86o. 
The earliest medical treatise published in Scotland. 
Vicary, Thomas. A profitable treatise of the Anatomie of Man's Body. 
Earliest extant ed. by Bamforde, H. x 577- (The work is really a transcript 
of a x4th cent. MS. based on Lanfranc and Mondeville, H. de.) Re-ed. by 
Furnivall, F. J. for E.E.T.S. 1888. 


Besides those mentioned in text, the following may be noted: 
The description of a monstrous pig, the which was farrowed at Hamsted 
besyde London the xvith day of October, this present yeare of our Lord 
God .Dlxii. 
The true discription of two monsterous children, lawfully begotten . . . 
borne in the parish of Swanburne in Buckynghamshyre, the iiij of Aprill. 
Anno Domini 1566 ; the two children having both their belies fast joyned 
together, and imbracyng one another with their armes .... 
The Disclosyng of a late counterfayted Possession by the Dex3,11 in twoo 
.Maydens within the Cittie of London. Whereunto is annexed part of a 
homilie of Chrisostome, and also strange stories and practises, as well in 
England as in other countries. Watkins, R., 1574. 
Beware the Cat. i55i(?), 156 (?). Rptd. byIrelonde,568-9, andbyAll- 
de, Ed., 1584. Re-ed. by Halliwell, J. O., 1864. A clever rhapsody in 
which "3Iaister Streamer" converses with Baldwin, Ferrets and others 
at the house of John Day the printer, on the supernatural powers of 
cats, their means of intercommunication and the possibility of men 
being bewitched in this form. Being desirous to understand the feline 
language, Streamer swallows a revolting compound (following an 
elaborate recipe of Albertus Magnus) which gives the utmost acuteness 
to his sense of hearing. After ludicrous misadventures, he spends the 
night listening to the gossip of cats, and then recounts what he has heard. 
Collier describes the tract as "an allegorical satire, under the personifica- 
tion of Cats " But the whole book, with its grotesque adventures and 
practical jokes, is reminiscent o_ the spirit of the jest-books. One 
episode suggests Reynard the Fox and another--the story, of the 
weeping cat alleged to be a girl bewitched for rejecting her lover--is 
found in the Indian collection Vrihat-Katha and Gesta Romanorum 
(xxv1iI). Streamer was a court jester. 
Vide the broadside A short answere to the Boke called Beware the cat, 
which denies that the book was written by Streamer, attributing its author- 
ship to Wylliam Baldewine "God graunt him wel to spede" 
'TOL. 111--36 

s62 Bibliography to 

Every thing almost: in that boke is as tru, 
As that at Midsomer: in L. it doth snu. 
(Catalogue of a Collection of Prtd. Broadsides in possession of the Soc. of 
Antiquaries of L., by Lemon, R., i866.) William Baldwin contributed to 
A Mirror for Magistrates, and was author, amongst other works of The 
Funerals of Ed. VI. (See Collier, Registers of the Stationers' Cpy, I, coo, and 
Biblio. Cat. of E. E. Lit. I, 43.) 
Ludwig Lavaterus. Of Ghostes and Spirits walking by nyght and of strange 
noyses, crackes and sundry forewarnynges, whiche commonly happen 
before the death of men, great slaughters and alterations of Kyngdomes. 
Translated by R. 14. 572. 
Scot, Reginald. 
A perfite platforme of a 14oppe-Garden by Reynolde Scot. Denham, 14., 
574- Rptd.,576,578. 
The Discoverie of Witchcraft, wherein the lewde dealing of witches and 
witchmongers is notablie detected, the knaverie of conjurors, the im- 
pietie of inchantors, the follie of soothsaiers, the impudent falshood of 
cousenors, the infidelitie of atheists, the pestilent practises of Pythonists, 
the curiositie of figure casters, the vanitie of dreamers, the beggerlie art 
of alcumystrie, the abhomination of idolatrie, the horrible art of poison- 
ing, the vertue and power of naturall magike, and all the conveiances of 
legierdemain and juggling are deciphered .... 14erreunto is added a 
treatise upon the nature and substance of spirits and divels. Brome, W., 
i584. Rptd., 65, 665. Re-ed., i886. 
VMe Wood's Ath. Oxon. (ed. Bliss, P.), I, 679-680; Oldys's, British 
Librarian, 2  3-228. 
Ashmole, E. Theatrurn Chemicum Britannicum. (Contains: Ordinall of 
Alchimy, by Norton, T. ; Compound of Alchymie, by Ripley, G.; Pater 
Sapientiae; 14ermes Bird; Worke of J. Dastin; Pearce the Black Monk 
upon the Elixir; R. Carpenter's Worke; Hunting of the Greene Lyon; 
T. Charnock's Breviary of Philosophy; Bloomfield's Blossoms, etc.) 
Baedi. Die Hexenprocesse in Deutschland. x874. 
Bandrillart, H. J.L. Jean Bodin et son temps. 853. 
Haas, C. Die Hexenprocesse. i865. 
Hall, F.T. Pedigree of the Devil. i883. 
Halliwell, J. O. Poetry of Witchcraft. x853. (Plays on the Lancashire 
witches, by 14eywood and Shadwell ) 
14enderson, V. Folk Loreof the Northern Counties. F.L.S. i879. Chap. v, 
Charms and Spells; vI, Witchcraft; xI, Dreams. 
14erford, C. I4. Literary Relations of England and Germany in the Sixteenth 
Century. Cambridge, 886. Pt. II, chap. iv. 
14ulme, F.E. Natural History Lore and Legend. 895. (A rehabilitation 
of medieval naturalists.) 
Jacob, J. L. (Paul Lacroix). Curiosit6s th6ologiques; Curiosites infernales; 
Curlosit6s des sciences occultes. 
Notestein, W., is working at an account of witchcraft in England from i558 
to i718. 
Retrospective Review (i82o-6), v, 86-39. 
Scott, W. Demonology and Witchcraft. 883. 

Chapter VI 565 

Mackay, C. Songs of the London Prentices . . . during the Reigns of 
Henry VIII, Elizabeth and James I. Percy Society. x84x. 
Moore, M. History of the Study of Medicine in the British Isles. 9o8. 
Pauli, R. England. Vol. 5- (Gesch. d. europ. Staat.) Gotha, 858. 
Rolfe, W.J. Shakespeare the Boy. 9oo. 
Rye, W.B. England as seen by Foreigners in the days of Elizabeth and 
James I. 865. 
Strutt, J. Dress and habits of the People of England. Ed. by Planch, 
J.R. 842. Sports and Pastimes. Ed. by Cox, J.C. x9o 3. 
Stubbs, W. Seventeen Lectures on Medieval and Modern History. Oxford, 
Traill, H. D. Social England. Vol. III. i895. (Especially the biblio= 
graphies, pp. 67-9, 3o-3, 4-413-) 
Vatk, E. F.T. Kulturbilder aus Alt-England's Tudor-Zeit. Berlin, x887. 
Wilkinson, R. Londina Illustrata.  vols. 89-25. 
Wright, T. The Homes of Other Days. 87. 
 History of Caricature and Grotesque in literature and art. 865. 
 History of domestic manners and sentiments in England. i862. 
 Womankind in Western Europe. 869. 
[See also bibliography to the chapter on Chroniclers in the present work.] 
Arbuthnot, A. (538-83). See Pinkerton's Ancient Scottish Poems. 786. 
Burel, J. (ft. 59o). Descriptioun, and The Passage of the Pilgrims in 
Watson's Collection of Scots Poems, Part iI, TXO; the former is also 
included in Sir Robert Sibbald's Chronicle of Scottish Poetry, 8o7. 
Hume, Alexander. Poems, ed. Lawson. Scottish Text Society. x9o. 
James VI. The Essayes of a Prentise in the Divine Art of Poesie. I585 . 
 Poetical Exercises. 59x- 
Lauder, William. The Compendious and Breve Tractate. Ed. Hall, F. 
E.E.T.S. 864. 
 Minor Poems. Ed. Furnivall, F.J. 87o. 
Lyndsay. The complaynte and testament of a Popinjay which lyeth sore 
wounded and maye not dye, tyll every man bathe herd what he sayth: 
Wherefore gentyll readers haste you yt he were oute of his payne. 
Colophon. Here evds the complaynt, and testament of the Kynge of 
Scottes Papingo, compyled by David Lyndesay of the Mount, and fin- 
ysshed the xiiij, day of Decembre, in the yere of our lorde, x 53 o. Im- 
prynted at London in Fletestrete, at the sygne of the Sonne, by John 
Byddell. i533. [The orthography has been a little anglicised and 
differs somewhat from that published with other poems of Lyndsay in 
558. There is a copy of the early edition in the British Museum and 
two others are known to exist.] 
 The Tragicall Death of David Beaton, Bishoppe of Sainct Andrews in 
Scotland: wherunto is joyned the Martrydom of Maister George Wy- 
sharte etc. Imprinted at London by John Daye and WiIliam Seres 
dwellinge in Sepulchre parish at the signe of the Resurrection, a little 
above Holbourne conduite. [Of this anglicised volume, probably printed 
in r547, the only copy known is that in the British Museum.] 

Chapter VII 

that the masse is and alwayes hath ben abhominable before God and 
Idolatrye. Scrutamini Scripturas. [No date.] 
 A Confessioun and declarati6 of praiers added therunto by Jhon Knox, 
minister of Christes most sacred Evangely, upon the death of that most 
verteous and moste famous King Edward the VI kynge of Englande and 
Imprinted in Rome, before the Castel of S. Afingel at the signe of Sainct 
Peter. In the moneth of July in the yeare of ottr Lorde i554. 
The Expositioun uppon the syxt Psalme of David, wherein is 
declared hys cross, complayntes and praiers. [No date.] Another 
edition of this work was printed under a different title by Thomas 
Dawson.  58o- 
 A Comfortable Epistell sente to the afflicted church of Chryst, exhortyng 
th to beare his crosse wyth patice etc. Wrytten by the man of God. 
J.K. [No date.] 
 A faythfull admonitioun made by Johfi Knox, unto the professors of 
God's truth in England etc. The colophon is: Imprynted at Kalykow 
the zo daye of Julij x554. 
 A brieff discours off the troubles begonne at Franckford in Germany 
Anno Domini 1554 Abowte the Booke of common praier and ceremonies 
etc. M.D.LXXV. 
 The first blast of the trumpet against the monstruous regiment of 
women. Veritas temporis filia. .D.LVIH. 
 An answer to a great nomber of blasphemous cavillations written 
by an Anabaptist, and adversarie to Gods eternal Predestination 
and confuted by John Knox, minister of Gods worde in Scotland. 
Printed by John Crespin. .D.L.X. 
 The Historie of the reformatioun of religioun within the realm of 
Scotland. i586. [Imperfect.] Ed. David Buchanan. x644. Ed. 
MatthewCrawford. Edinburgh, i73z. 
The only complete edition of Knox's works is that of Laing, D., 6 
vols., Edinburgh, I846-64. A bibliography is attached to each separate 
Works on John Knox: M'Crie, T., The Life of John Knox containing 
illustrations of the History of the Reformation in Scotland, etc., Edin- 
burgh, 8I; Brown, P. Hume, John Knox, A Biography, 2 vols., 1895; 
Lang, A., John Knox and the Reformation, xgo 5. See also Stevenson, 
R. L., in Men and Books, x882. 
Kyllour, Friar. The only mention of Kyllour is to be found in Knox's 
Historie of the Reformatioun (ed. Laing, , 62). Knox ascribes to him 
a Historye of Christis Passioun in forme of a play. Calderwood (Historie 
of the Kirk of Scotland, I, x24, ed. x842-9) only follows Knox. 
Leslie, John, bishop. De Origine, Moribus, et Rebus Gestis Scotorum. Libri 
decem. Authore Joanne Leslaeo Scoto, Episcopo Rossensi. Rome, 
 The History of Scotland from the death of King James I in the year 
.cccc.xxxv to the year ..LX by John Lesley, Bishop of Ross. Ban- 
natyne Club. Edinburgh, x83o. 
 The Historie of Scotland wrytten first in Latin by the most reverend 
and worthy Jhone Leslie bishop of Rosse and translated by Father 
James Dalrymple. Ed. Cody, E.G.  vols. Scot. Text Soc. Edin- 
burgh and London. 888-95. 

Bibliography to 

Lindsay, Robert, of Pitscottie. The History of Scotland from  t February, 
t 436, to March, 565 . Inwhichare containedAccountsof many remark- 
able passages altogether differing from our other Historians etc., by 
Robert Lindesay of Pitscottie. Done from the most authentick and 
most correct Manuscripts. Edinburgh, 728. In this first edition the 
text is modernised. 
 The Historic and Cronicles of Scotland from the Slaughter of King 
James the First to the one thousunde fiyve hundreith thrie scoir fyftein 
3cir. Written and collected by Robert Lindesay of Pitscottie. Ed. 
Mackay, E. J. G. Scot. Text Soc. Edinburgh and London, 1899. 
This edition follows "two of the oldest Manuscripts." 
Maitland, Sir John, of Thirlstane. Poems attributed to Maitland will be 
found in the following collections: Sir Richard Maitland of Lething- 
toun's Manuscript Collection of Poems, 1555-86, in the Pepysian Library, 
Magdalene College, Cambridge, Fol. MS., p. 3 57; Ancient Scottish Poems 
never before in print, but now published from the MS. Collections of Sir 
Richard .Maitland, ed. John Pinkerton, 2 vols., i786; The Poems of S,r 
Richard Maitland, Knight, with an Appendix of Selections from the 
Poems of Sir John Maitland. Lord Thirlestane and of Thomas Maitland, 
edited from the Drummond MS. in the Library of the University of 
Edinburgh, Maitland Club, Glasgow, 183o; The Sempill Ballatis, edited 
and published by Thomas George Stevenson, Edinburgh, x872 ; Satirical 
Poems of the Time of the Reformation, ed. Cranstoun, J., Scot. Text 
Soc., 2 vols., Edinburgh, 1891- 3. 
lIajor, John. Historia Majoris Britanniae. Paris, 152i. Rptd. by Free- 
bairn. Edinburgh, 174o. Eng. trans, by Constable, A., with a bibli- 
ography by Law, T. G. Scot. Hist. Soc. Edinburgh, 189x. 
Melville, Sir James, of Halhill. Memoirs . . . containing an account of . . . 
affairs of state relating to the kingdoms of England and Scotland 
under the reigns of Queen Elizabeth, Mary, Queen of Scots, and King 
James. 1683. Ed. from original MS. by Thomson, T. Bannatyne 
Club. Edinburgh, x827. 
Melville, James, minister of Kilrenny. Diary. x556-I6Ol. Bannatyne 
Club. Edinburgh, 1829 . 
Moysie, David. Memoirs of the affairs of Scotland; containing an . 
account of the most remarkable transactions in that kingdom, 
i577-i6o3 ., together with a discourse of the conspiracy of 
the Earl of Gowrie. Edinburgh, i755. Bannatyne Club. Edinburgh, 
Sadler, Sir Ralph (x5o7-87). State Papers. Ed. Scott, Sir Walter. 2 vols. 
1809 . 
Sempill, Robert. The Evergreen: A Collection of Scots Poems wrote by the 
Ingenious before 16oo. By Allan Ramsay. 2 vols. Edinburgh, 1724. 
Reprinted 1876. Ramsay gives three poems by Sempill from the 
 The Sempill Ballates. Ed. Stevenson, T. G. Edinburgh, 1872. This 
collection contains all Sempill's pieces which appear in the Bannatyne 
MS., but many are erroneously assigned to him. 
-Satirical Poems of the Time of the Restoration. Ed. Cranstoun, J. 
Twelve poems in this collection are assigned to Sempill. 
Winzet, Xinian. Certane tractatis for Reformatioun of Doctryne and Maneris, 
set furth at the desyre, Xd in ye name of ye afltictit Catholikis, of inferiour 

Chapter VIII 573 

ordour of Clergie, and layit men in Scotland, be Niniane Winzet, ane 
Catholike Preist borne in Renfrew. Edinburgh, 21 -May, 1562. 
 Certane Tractates together with the book of fourscore three questions 
and a translation of Vincentius Lerinensis by Ninian Winzet. Ed. 
Hewison, J. K. 2 vols. Scot. Text Soc. Edinburgh, i888. (This 
edition contains a full bibliography of Winzet in vol. I, pp. lxxix ft.) 
[The chapter on the Anglican settlement and the Scottish reformation, 
in vol. n of The Cambridge Modern History, by Maitland, F. W., and the 
bibliography attached to that chapter should be consulted. Useful biblio- 
graphies will also be found in P. Hume Brown's History of Scotland, vols. I 
and II, Cambridge, i9o2, i9o5 . The antiquary will find the works of Cosmo 
Innes of considerable interest and also P. Hume Brown's Scotland before 
17oo (1893) and Early Travellers in Scotland (1891). A. R. W.] 




II libro del Cortegiano del Conte Baldesar Castiglione. Venice, 527 . 
The Courtyer of Count Baldessar Castilio divided into foure bookes. Very. 
necessary and profitable for yonge Gentilmen and Gentilwomen abiding 
in Court, Palaice or P/ace, done into Englyshe by Thomas Hoby. Im- 
printed at London by yllyam Seres at the signe of the Hedghogge. 
1561. With an introduction by Walter Raleigh. (Tudor Translations, 
ed. Henley, W.E.) 19oo. Trans. and ed. Opdycke, L.E. New York, 
1901. London, i9o2. 


The Thre first bookes of Ovids De Tristibus, translated into Englishe. Anno 
i572. Imprinted at London in Fletstreate neare to S. Dunstones 
Churche by Thomas Marshe. Also i578 and Roxburghe Club, ,816. 
The Firste part of Churchyardes Chippes, contayning twelve severall La- 
bours. Devised and published, only by Thomas Churchyard Gentelman. 
Imprinted at London in Fletestreate neare unto Saint Dunstones Church 
by Thomas Marshe. 1575 and 1578- See also J. P. Collier's Reprint of 
187o (?). 
A Lamentable, and pitifull Description, of the wofull warres in Flaunders 
since the foure last yeares of the Emperor Charles the fifth his raigne. 
With a briefe rehearsall of many things done since that season, until 
this present yeare, and death of Don John. Written by Thomas Church- 
yarde Gentleman. Imprinted at London by Ralph Newberie. 1578. 
The Miserie of Flaunders, calamitie of Fraunce, Misfortune of Portugall, 
Unquietness of Ireland, Troubles of Scotlande: And the blessed state of 
Englande. Written by Tho. Churchyarde Gent. 1579. Imprinted at 
London for Andrewe Maunsell dwellyng in Paules Church-yard at the 
Signe of the Patter. Rptd., i876. 
A Discourse of the Queenes Majesties entertainement in Suffolk and Norffolk: 
with a description of many things then presently seene. Devised by 
Thomas Churchyarde; Gent. with divers shewes of his own invention 
sette out at Norwich : and some rehearsal of hit Highnesse retourne from 

Chapter VIII 575 

of Musicke) called Churchyards Charitie. Imprinted at London, by 
At. Hatfield for William Holme. I595- In Frondes Caducae, xSxT. 
A Praise of Poetrie. Imprinted at London, by Ar. Hatfield for William 
Holme. x595- In Frondes Caducae, xSxT. 
A Sad and solemne funerall of the right honorable Sir Francis Knowles, 
Knight, Treasurer of the Queenes AIajesties Houshold, one of her privie 
councell, and Knight of the most honorable Order of the Garter. Written 
by Thomas Churchyard, Esquier. Imprinted at London, by Ar. Hat- 
field, for Wm Holme. x596. Rptd. in Park's Heliconia, vol. ii, xSx 5. 
The Fortunate Farewel to the most forward and noble Earle of Essex, one of 
the honorable privie Counsel, Earle high Marshal of England, Master 
of the horse, Master of the ordinance, Knight of the garter and Lord 
Lieutenant general of all the Queenes Majesties forces in Ireland. 
Dedicated to the right Honorable the Lord Harry Seamer, second sonne 
to the last Duke of Sommerset. Written by Thomas Churchyard 
Esquire. Printed at London by Edm. Bollifant, for William Wood at 
the west doore of Paules. x599. 
Sorrowfull Verses made on [the] death cf our most Soueraigne Lady Queene 
Elizabeth, my Gracious Mistresse. [a6o3. ] 
Churchyards good will. Sad and heavy Verses, in the nature of an Epitaph, 
for the losse of the Archbishop of Canterbury, lately deceased, Primate 
and Metropolitane of all England. Written by Thomas Churchyard, 
Esquire. Imprinted at London by Simon Stafford, dwelling in Hosier 
lane, near Smith-field. x6o4. [In Fugitive Tracts written in verse 
which illustrate the condition of religious and political feeling in Eng- 
land And the State of Society there during Two centuries, Second Series, 
6- 7o, 875-] 
Thomas Churchyard. 5-x6o4. By Adnitt, H. W., Shrewsbury. Rptd. from 
Trans. Shropshire Archaeological and Natural History Society [x884]. 
The Life of Cardinal Wolsey. By George Cavendish. To which is added 
Thomas Churchyard's Tragedy of Wolsey. Ed. Morley, H. x885. 
The Writings in verse and prose of Sir Edward Dyer, Knt. Ed. Grosart, 
A.B. x87. 
The Poems of Thomas, lord Vaux: Edward earl of Oxford: Robert, earl of 
Essex: and Walter, earl of Essex. Ed. Grosart, A.B. x87. 
A Posie of Gilloflowers, eche differing from other in colour and odour, yet all 
sweete. By Humfrey Gifford Gent. Imprinted at London for John 
Perin, and are to be solde at his shop in Paules Churchyard, at the signe 
of the Angel1. 58o. Poems. Ed. Grosart, A.B. 87o and 875. 
Eglogs, Epytaphes and Sonettes. Newly written by Barnabe Googe: x563. 
x5- Marche. Irnprynted at London, by Thomas Colwell, for Raffe New- 
bery, dwelyng in Fleetstreete a little above the Conduit in the late shop 
of Thomas Bartelet. Ed. Arber, E. English Reprints. ,895. 

Chapter VIII 579 

A Tale of two Swannes. Wherein is comprehended the original encrease of 
the river Lee, commonly called Ware River: together with the Antiquitie 
of sundrie Places and Townes seated upon the same. Pleasant to be 
read, and not unprofitable to be understood. By W. Vallans. London : 
printed by Roger Ward for John Sheldrake. t59 o. 
[William Vallans (ft. x578-9o), poet and salter. This poem is inter- 
eating as an early example of blank verse outside the drama It is 
reprinted in Hearne's Leland's Itinerary, vol. v. See also British 3Iuseum 
Had. [SS., 367, f. x29.] 
ee under Essex. 
For editions of Songes and Sonettes see under Surrey. 
Poems of Sir Thomas Wyatt. British 3luseum. Egerton MSS., 27x. 
Poetical Works of Sir Thomas Wyatt. Ed. Bell, R. The Annotated 
Edition of the English Poets. x854. 
Certayne Psalmes chosen out of the Psalter of David commonly called the vii 
penytentiall Psalmes, drawen into Englyshe meter by sir Thomas Wyat 
knyght, whereunto is added a prologe of the auctore before every Psalme 
very pleasant and profettable to the Godly reader. Imprinted at 
London in Paules Churchyarde at the sygne of thee starre by Thomas 
Raynald and John t-Iarryngton, cure privilegio ad imprimendum solum. 
Opere Toscane di Luigi Alamanni al Christianissimo Re'Francesco Primo .... 
Sebast. Gry. phius excudebat Lugd. x532. 
Satire di . . . Luigi Alamanni. Londra, x786. [In Raccolta di Poeti Satirici 
Italiani, vol. II.] 
Strambotti del Seraphino .... Impresso a Milano -3Iagistro Antonio 
Jaroto. .ccccc.nn. a di. vn. de Jugno. 
Opere dello elegte Poeta Seraphino Aquilano finite & emendate con la 
gionta zoe Apologia et vita desso poeta. Venetia, ...cccccv. 
Le Rime di Serafino de' Ciminelli dall' Aquila a cura di 3lario Menghini. 
I894. [In Collezione di Opere inedite o rare di scrittori italiani dal XllI 
al xv seccolo, etc., ed. Carducci, G.] 
Antonius Romanellus Egloga 3Ietrophilus & Philartus. Venice (?), 1520 (?). 
Les CEuvres de Clement Marot de Cahors en Quercy Valet de Chambre du 
Roy. Ed. Guiffry, G. CEuvres Completes. Ed. Jannet, p. i873. 
(Euvres compl+tes de Melin de Sainct-Gelays. Ed. Blanchemain, P. I873. 
Theodori Bezae Vezelii Poemata. Lutetiae, i548. 
For Songes and Sonettes (Tottel's Miscellany) see under Surrey. 
A gorgious Gallery, of gallant Inventions. Garnished and decked with 
divers dayntie devises, right delicate and delightfull, to recreate eche 
modest minde withall. First framed and fashioned in sundrie formes, 
by divers worthy workemen of late dayes: and now, joyned together and 
builded up: By T.P. Imprinted at London, for Richard Jones. x57s. 
/Ix Handefull of pleasant delites, containing sundrie new Sonets and delectable 
Histories, in divers kindes of Meeter. Newly devised to the newest 
tunes that are now in use, to be sung: everie Sorter orderly pointed to her 
proper Tune. With new additions of certain Songs, to retie late devised 

5so Bibliography to 

Notes, not commonly knowen, nor used heretofore, By Clement Robin- 
son. and divers others. At London Printed by Richard Jhones: dwelling 
at the signe of the Rose and Crowne, neare Holbourne Bridge. x584. 
Rptd. by Arber, E. English Scholar's Library, No. 3- x878- 
The Paradyse of daynty deuises, aptly furnished, with sundry pithie and 
learned inventions: devised and written for the most par by M. Ed- 
wards, sometimes of her Majesties Chappel: the rest, by sundry learned 
Gentlemen, both of honor, and woorshippe, viz. S. Barnarde. E.O. L. 
Vaux. D.S. Jasper Heywood. F. K. 3I. Bewe. R. Hill. M. Yloop, 
with others. Imprinted at London, by Henry Disle, dwellyng in Paules 
Churchyard, at the South west doore of Saint Paules Church, and are 
there to be solde, x576. Second edition, enlarged, i577. 
The Paradyse of daynty deuises. Conteyning sundry pithy preceptes, learned 
Counsels, and excellent inventions, right pleasant and profitable for all 
estates. Devised and written for the most part, by 3I. Edwardes, some- 
times of her Majesties Chappell; the rest, by sundry learned Gen- 
tlemen, both of honor, and worship, whose names hereafter folowe. 
Imprinted at London, by Henry Disle dwelling in Paules Churchyard, 
at the Southwest doore of Saint Paules Church, and are there to be 
solde. I578. Saint Barnard. E. O. Lord Vaux, the Elder. W. 
Hunis. Jasper Heywood. F. Kindlemarsh. D. Sand. M. Yloop. 
Also 58o and rptd. 585 . x596. Whereunto is added sundry new in- 
ventions, very pleasant and delightfull. At London Printed for Edward 
White, and are to be sold at his Shop at the little North doore of Paules 
Church, at the signe of the Gunne .... i6oo. Rptd., i6o6. 
The Paradise of Dainty Deuices, reprinted from a Transcript of The First 
Edition, x576, In the hand writing of the late George Steevens, Esq. 
With an Appendix: Containing Additional Pieces from the Editions of 
i58o & i6oo. Ed. Brydges, Sir Egerton, K.J. x8io. Another ed., i812. 
Arber, E. The Surrey and Wyatt Anthology. 9oo. 
Carpenter, F. I. English Lyric Poetry xSOO-xToo, x9o6. 
Collier J.P. Seven English Poetical Miscellanies, Printed between z557 
and i6o2. i867 . 
Hannah, J. The Courtly Poets from Raleigh to 3Iontrose. x87o. 
[Hazlitt, W.C.] Inedited Poetical Miscellanies, i584-i7oo. Selected rom 
MSS. chiefly in private hands, x89o. 
Oliphant, T. Musa Madrigalesca. I837. 
Park, T. Heliconia. i85. 
Ritson, J. A select Collection of English Songs, with their original airs: 
and a historical essay on the origin and progress of national song. 3 
vols. Second edition. Ed. Park, T. i8 3. 
Schelling, F. E. A Book of Elizabethan Lyrics. Athenaeum Press Series. 
Boston, z895. 
Bapst, Edmond, Deux Gentilshommes et Pontes de la Cour de Henry VIII. 
Paris, x89x. 
Chappell, XV. Some Account of an Unpublished Collection of Songs and 
Ballads by King Henry VIII. and his Contemporaries. Archaeologia, 
XLI, p. 37x. 

Chapter IX 583 

2o Woodville 
2 * Hastings 
22 Buckingham 

23 Collingbourne 
24 Richard III 
25 Shore's Wife 

26 Somerset 

27 The Blacksmith 

28 Duchess of 
29 Duke Humphrey 


Thos Sackville 

To the Reader Q 2 
f. 1. Q2 

Fr. Segars 


To the Reader Q 2 
To the Reader Q 2 
e. 1. Q2 
To the Reader Q 2 

Cavyll To the Reader 
Ferrers f. 1. Q i 

T.S. Q3 
T. Sackville Q 8 

F. Seg Qa 
Tho. Churchyard 
G.F. Q7 
G. Ferrers Q 8 
Caxy 11 Q 3 

G.F. Q7 

Fetters f. 1. Q r G.F. Q 7 
G. Ferrers Q 8 
It will be seen that the authorship of nos. 2, 4, 5, 6 and '3 is differently 
ascribed in different editions: in each case the earlier authority seems prefer- 
able, and no. 2 would then be attributed to CaxDrll, no. 4 to Baldwin, no. 5 to 
Chaloner and nos. 6 and '3 to Baldwin. Nos. 7, 9, to, r2, r4, r5, *6, *7, r8 of 
part I and 2o and 23 of part II are not attributed to anyone except in Q 8, 
which is of such late date as to possess little authority, although Niccols says, 
"I have subscribed the names of all such as I could heare of." In the address 
To the Nobilitie Q 2, Baldwin describes part II as "conteynyng as lytle of 
myne owne, as the fyrst part doth of other men's." The obvious meaning 
of this is that he wrote some of part III and a great deal of part I, and, there- 
fore, it seems reasonable to ascribe to him the two legends in part II (2o and 
23) not claimed for others, and the greater part of those unclaimed in part I, 
in which nos. 4, 8, r, are attributed to him without question and nos. 6 and 
r 3 with more or less uncertainty. Xos. 7 and ,2 are set down to him by 
Niccols, so far as his authority goes, and I am inclined to put all the unclaimed 
ones to his credit except no. *7, the alliteration of which, as Trench has 
pointed out, sets it aside from the rest. The general character of the versi- 
fication bears out this assumption. 
In the second quarto, all the tragedies printed in Q x were included as the 
first part, although Somerset is put out of its place in part II. In Q 3 (* 57'), 
this mistake is corrected, and nos. 25 and 27 (Shore's Wife and The Black- 
smith) change places. Alterations are made in the prose links accordingly, 
but otherwise there are only verbal changes. 

(a) EDITIoNs 

A memorial of suche Princes, as since the tyme of King Richard the 
seconde, have been unfortunate in the Realme of England. Londini In 
aedibus Johannis Waylandi. Cure Privilegio per Septennium. [*554- 
Folio xl in "The tragedies, gathered by Jhon Bochas, of all such Princes 
as fell from theyr estates throughe the mutability of Fortune since the 
creacion of Adam, until his time" wherein may be seen what vices bring 
menne to destruccion, xvyth notable warninges howe the like may be 

Chapter XI 58 ? 

William Cunliffe (Cambridge English Classics, i9o7), comprises in the 
first volume (x), (2) and (9)- Vol. II is in the press. 
Herford, C.H. Gascoigne's Glasse of Government, in E. Stud. IX, 2Ol- 9. 
Hunter, Joseph. Chorus Vatum Anglicanorum. Vol. I. i838-54. MS. in 
British Museum. 
Schelling, Felix E. The Life and Writings of George Gascoigne. Boston, 
Mass. U. S. A., x893. (Publications of the University of Pennsylvania.) 
Whetstone, George. A Remembraunce of the wel imployed life and godly 
end of George Gaskoyne Esquire. x577. 
[For Gascoigne's plays, see Vol. V of the present work, and for a list of 
the literary productions of Gascoigne's friend, George Whetstone (1544 ?-87 ?), 
see Lee, S., in D. of N. B.] 
[Bibliography by Miss Lillian Winstanley, M.A.] 
Noot, J. van der. A Theatre . . . Voluptuous Worldlings. (With sonnets 
translated from the Sonnets of Petrarch and the Visions o[ Du Bellay by 
E. Spenser.) x569. 
The Shepheardes Calender. Conteyning twelve Aeglogues proportionable 
to the twelve monethes. Entitled to the Noble and Vertuous Gentle- 
man .... M. Philip Sidney. Printed by Hugh Singleton, x579. 
Second Edition. Printed by John Wolfe for John Harrison the younger, 
i58i , i586. Latereds. x59i, i597, i6ii. 
Latin Translation: (Calendarium Pastorale Sire Aeglogue Duodecim, Toti- 
dem Anni Mensibus accomodatae; Anglice olim Scriptae ab Edmundo 
Spenser, Anglorum Poetarum Principe; Nunc autem Eleganti Latino 
Carmine donatae a Theodoro Bathurst. Johanne Ball, Editore.) ,653. 
The Shepheardes Calender . . . photographic facsimile of i579 edition. Ed. 
Sommer, H.O. i89o. 
The Shepheardes Calender. Ed. Herford, C. H. I895. 
Articles: Lancashire Dialect Words and Phrases from the Works of Spenser, 
etc., Grosart, vol. I; Pastoral Poetry, etc., Grosart, vol. III. 
Bks I, II, Ill.- The Faerie Queene Disposed into twelve books fashioning 
xII Morall Virtues. Printed by Ponsonbye. Entered Dec. I S89. 
Edition dated $9 o. 
Second Edition of first Three Books. i S96- 
Bks iv, v, vi. The second part of the Faerie Queene. Containing the 
Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Books. Printed by Ponsonbye. IS96. 
Folio Edition. Printed by H. L. for Mathew Lownes. 6o 9. Includes: 
Two Cantos of l[utabilitie: 'Which both for Forme and atter, appeare 
to be parcell of some following Booke of the Faerie Queene, under the 
Legend of Constancie. Never before imprinted. 

Chapter XI 


various commentators, ed. by Todd, H. J., 8 vols., I805, vol. II includes: 
Hughes's Essay on Allegorical Poetry, Hughes's Remarks on the Faerie 
Queene, Spence's Dissertation on the Defects of Spenser's Allegory, 
Warton's Remarks on the Plan and Conduct of the Faerie Queene, War- 
con's Remarks on Spenser's Imitations from Old Romances, Warton's 
Remarks on Spenser's Allegorical Character, Editor's Remarks on 
Spenser's Stanza, Versification and Language, Upton's Remarks on the 
Action and History of the Faerie Queene, Hurd's Remarks on the Plan 
and Conduct of the Faerie Queene; in Chalmers's Poets, 181o, vol. In 
includes a Life of Spenser by Chalmers; in Aldine edition, Life by J. 
Mitford, 1839; Works, ed. by Gilfillan, 1859; Works, ed. by Collier, J. 
P., 186. 
Globe edition. Ed. from the original editions and MSS. by Morris, R. With 
a memoir by Hales, J.W. 1869 ft. Revised ed., 1897 ft. 
Works. Ed. by Grosart, A.B. 882-4. Vol. I includes a Life of Spenser by 
the editor, also essays: Characteristics of Spenser's Poetry, by Aubrey 
de Vere. Spenser the Poet and Teacher, by Dowden, E. Certain 
Aspects of the Poetry of Spenser, by Philpot, W. B. The Introspec- 
tion and Outlook of Spenser, by William Hubbard. Also Appendixes: 
Entries Concerning Spenser from Burnley Church Register. Dialect 
Words. Friendship with Sir Philip Sidney, etc. etc. Vol. iII includes 
An Examination of earlier, contemporary and later English Pastoral 
Poetry, by Gosse, E.W. Rider on the same (the editor). Who were 
Rosalinde and Menacals, etc.? Notices of Edward Kirke, etc. Of the 
Minor Poems of Spenser, by Palgrave, F. T. 

Brittain's Ida. Written by . . . Edmond Spenser. Walkley, i68. (See 
Giles and Phineas Fletcher's Works, vol. II, ed. Boas, F. S., Cambridge, 
Bryskett, Lodowick (ft. 1571-1611). His Discourse of Civill Life, translated 
from the Italian of Baptista Giraldo, was published in 16o6, though 
written much earlier. It is in the introduction to this book that the 
famous passage concerning The Faerie Queene appears. 
Carpenter, F.I. Outline Guide to the Study of Spenser. Chicago, 1894. 
Church, R.W. Life of Spenser. English Men of Letters. 1S79. 
-- Spenser. T.H. Ward's Poets, vol. . 188o ft. 
Courthope, W.J. The Gemus of Spenser. 1868. 
--History of English Poetry. Vol. II, chap. IX. 1897. 
Craik, L. Spenser and his Poetry. 3 vols. 1845. 
De Vere, A. Essays chiefly on Poetry. 2 vols. 1888. 
Dodge, R. E. N. Spenser's Imitations from Ariosto. Mod. Lang. Ass., 
1897, vol. XlI. 
Dowden, E. Spenser, the Poet and Teacher; Heroines of Spenser. Tran- 
scripts and Studies. 1888. 
Elton, O. Modern Studies. 19o 7. 
Fleay, F.G. Guide to Chaucer and Spenser. 1877. 
Grosart, A.B. Who Wrote Brittain's Ida? 1869. 
Hales, J.W. Folia Litteraria. 1893. 

Chapter XII 59I 

Breton, Nicholas. A Floorish upon Fancie: compiled by N. B. Gent.; to 
which are annexed The Toyes of an Idle Head, by the same author. 
Richard Jones, 1582. Reprinted in T. Park's Heliconia. Vol. x. xSx 5. 
 A Small Handfull of Fragrant Flowers .... By N. B. Richard 
Jones, x575. Reprinted in T. Park's Heliconia. Vol. I. 1815. 
Constable, Henry. Diana, or, The excellent conceitful Sonnets of H. C. 
Augmented with divers Quatorzains of honourable and learned per- 
sonages. Printed by James Roberts for Richard Smith, 1584. Re- 
printed in Lee's Elizabethan Sonnets. Vol. II. i9o4. 
 Spirituall Sonnettes to the honour of God and hys Sayntes. By H. C. 
From a manuscript in the Harleian Collection (No. 7553). First printed 
in T. Park's Heliconia. Vol. xx. 1815- 
Daniel, Samuel. Delia. Contayning certayne Sonnets: with the complaint 
of Rosamond. Printed by J. C. for Simon Waterson, 1592. Second 
(augmented) edition, 1592; third (further augmented)edition, 1592; 
other editions "Delia and Rosamond Augmented," appeared in 1594, 
I595 and 1598. The edition of 1594 is reprinted in Lee's Elizabethan 
Sonnets. Vol. II. i9o4. 
Davison, Francis. A Poetical Rapsody containing diverse Sonnets, Odes, 
Elegies, Madrigalls and other Poesies, both in Rime and measured verse. 
Never yet published. Printed by V. S. for John Baily, 16o2. Reprinted 
by Bullen, A.H. 2 vols. 189o. 
Desportes, Philippe. (Euvres. Ed. Michiels. Paris, I858. 
Drayton, Michael. Ideas Mirrour. Amours in Quatorzains. Printed by 
James Roberts for Nicholas Linge, 1594. Second edition, 1599 (re- 
printed, 16oo); third edition, 16o2 (reprinted, 16o3); fourth edition, 
16o 5 (reprinted, 16o8, 161o and 1613); fifth and final edition, x619. 
The first edition of 1594, with poems of later editions, was reprinted in 
the Roxburghe Club edition of Drayton's Poems, 1856. The fifth edi- 
tion of 1619 is reprinted in Lee's Elizabethan Sonnets. Vol. II. 19o4. 
Drummond, William (of Hawthornden). Poems, Amorous, Funerall, Divine, 
Pastorall, in Sonnets, Songs, Sextains, Madrigals, by W.D. Edinburgh: 
Andro Hart, 1616. London (augmented) edition. 1656. Ed. Ward, 
W.C. 2 vols. 894. 
Edwardes, R. The Paradyse of daynty devises, aptly furnished, with sundry 
pithie and learned inventions: devised and written for the most part by 
lXl. Edwards .... Henry Disle, i576. Reprinted in 1577, 1578, 158o, 
1585, augmented i59o (?), 1596, 16oo, 16o6. 
Emaricdulfe. Sonnets written by E. C., Esquirer. Matthew Law, 1595. 
Reprinted in A Lamport Garland. Roxburghe Club. 1881. 
Fletcher, Giles. Licia, or Poems of Love in Honour of the admirable and 
singular virtues of his Lady. To the imitation of the best Latin Poets, 
andothers. 1593. Rptd. in Lee's Elizabethan Sonnets. Vol. xl. 10o4. 
Googe, B. Eglogs, Epytaphes and Sonettes. Thomas Colwell for Raffe 
Newbery, 1563. Arber's English Reprinti. 1871. 
Greville, Fulke, Lord Brooke. Caelica in Poetical works, 1633. Ed. Grosart, 
A. B., in Fuller Worthies Library. 187o. 
Griffin, B. Fidessa, more chaste than kind. By B. Griffin, Gent. Printed 
by the Widow Orwin for iXlatthew Lownes, 1596. Reprinted in Lee's 
Elizabethan Sonnets. Vol. . 19o4. 
I-Iarington, Sir John. The most elegant and witty epigrams of . . . digested 
into Foure Bookes. Three whereof neuer before published. 1618. 

594 Bibliography to 

Pied, Marius. Le Pdtrarquisme au xvI" si&cle. P6trarque et Ronsard .... 
Marseilles, 1896. 
Tilley, Arthur. The Literature of the French Renaissance. 2 vols. Cam- 
bridge, i9o4. 
Tomlinson, Charles. The Sonnet: its origin, structure, and place in poetry. 
Vaganay, Hugues. Le Sonnet en Italie et en France au xvI e sicle. Essai 
de Bibliographie Compare. Lyon, i9o 3. 
Wyndham, George. Ronsard and La P16iade. i9o6. 



The standard work is Saintsbury's History of Prosody from the Twelfth 
Century to the Present Day. Vol. I, From the Origins to Spenser, i9o6; vol. 
II, From Shakespeare to Crabbe, I9o8. See especially, in vol. I, the chapter 
on The Prosody of the Scottish Poets; book IV, The Coming of Spenser; and 
appendixes v-Ix, English Feet, Metres, Pause, Rhyme and Vowel-Music 
to_oo-6oo; and, in vol. It, book v, The Time of Shakespeare. 
Great assistance for the bibliography as well as for the discussion of the 
subject will be found in the works of T. S. Omond: English Mctrists (Tun- 
bridge Wells, i9o3, supplemented and enlarged, Oxford, i9o7) and A Study 
o] ,llctre, i9o 3. 
Iorting's Grundriss may be consulted for further references, and also the 
following bibliography. A.R.W. 




Haslewood, Joseph. Ancient Critical Essays upon English Poets and Poesy. 
2 vols. ISI I--I 5 . 
Smith, George Gregory. Elizabethan Critical Essays. 2 vols. Oxford, x9o4. 


Ascham, R. Toxophilus. i545. Ed. by Arber, E. Birmingham, i86i. 
The Scholemaster. i57o. Ed. by Arber. Birmingham, i87o. Toxo- 
philus, Scholemaster, etc. Ed. Aldis Wright, W. Cambridge, i9o4. 
Works. Ed. Giles, J.A. 4 vols. in 3- I864--5. See also Smith, G. 
Gregory, above. 
Campion, Thomas. Observations in the Art of English Poesy. i6o2. Re- 
printed in Bullen's Works of Campion, 1889, and in Smith, G. Gregory. 
Carew, Richard. The Excellency of The English Tongue. First printed by 
Camden in Remains. Reprinted from MS. by Smith, G. Gregory. 
Caxton, W. Collected Prefaces in A. W. Pollard's Fifteenth Century Prose 
and Verse [enlarged from Arber's English Garner]. i9o 3. 
Chapman, George. Prefaces to the two instalments of his Homer, printed 
in I598. Reprinted in Chapman's Works, 3 vols. i875; and in Smith. 
Daniel, Samuel. A Defenceof Rhyme. n.d. Reprinted in Grosart's Works 
of Daniel, 4 vols. I885-06: in Haslewood and in Smith, G. Gregory. 
I)ra3rton, Michael. Note "To the Reader" in The Barons' Wars. i6o 3. 

Chapter XIV 595 

Gascoigne, George. Notes of Instruction. In Posies of George Gascoigne. 
575- Reprinted by Arber with others of Gaseoigne's Works, 868; 
Smith, G. Gregory, op. ,:it. Ed. Cunliffe, J.W. Cambridge, x9o7. 
Gosson, Stephen. The School of Abuse. i579. Reprinted by Arber, Bir- 
mingham, i868. 
Harington, Sir John. Orlando Furioso. i59i. Preface reprinted in 
Harvey, Gabriel. Letters, as below under Spenser. Four Letters touching 
Robert Greene. i592. Pierce'sSupererogation. i593. AXew Letter 
of Notable Contents. i593. Works. Ed. Grosart, A. B. 3 vols. 
Privately printed, i884. Extracts ,_'n Smith, G. Gregory. 
E. K. [Kirke, Edmund]. Introduction and notes to Shepheards Calender 
579- In nearly all edd. of Spenser: also in Smith, G. Gregory. 
Lodge, Thomas. Defenceof Poetry etc. 579- Reprinted in Works ofT. L., 
ed. Gosse, E., Hunterian Club, Glasgow, i872-82; in Elizabethan and 
Jacobean Pamphlets, 892; and in Smith, G. Gregory. 
Meres, Francis. Palladis Tamia. i598. Sections reprinted in Arber's 
English Garner, in Smith, G. Gregory, etc. 
Mirror for Magistrates, A. 559- See bibliography to Chap. ix, ante. 
Nashe, Thomas. Preface to Sidney's Astrophel and Stella. i50. Strange 
News or Four Letters Confuted. 15Q2. Extracts in Smith, G. Gregory, 
[See also the epistle addressed to the gentlemen students of both uni- 
versities, prefixed to Greene's 3[enaphon.] 
Puttenham?, George? or Richard?. The Arte of English Poesie. Con- 
triued into three Bookes: The first of Poets and Poesie, the second of 
Proportion, the third of Ornament. At London Printed by Richard 
Field, dwelling in the black-Friers, neere Ludgate. 589 . Reprinted 
in Haslewood and Smith, and by Arber, Birmingham, 869. 
Sidney, Sir Philip. In  595 appeared two editions of the same work differing 
chiefly in the titles, The Defence of Poesy, printed for W. Ponsonby, 
and An Apologie for Poetrie. Written by the fight noble, vertuous, 
and learned, Sir Phillip Sidney, Knight. Odi profanum vulgus, et 
arceo. At London, Printed [or Henry Olney, and are to be sold at his 
shop in Paules Churchyard, at the signe of the George neere to Cheap- 
gate. The treatise was added to Arcadia in i598. It has in modern 
times been reprinted by Arber, E., Birmingham, 868; by Shuckburgh, 
E., Cambridge, I891 f[.; by Cook, A. S., Boston, U. S. A. (19oi); by 
Rhys, E., in Literary Pamphlets, i897; by J. Churton Collins, Oxford, 
i9o7; and by Smith, G. Gregory. 
Spenser, E., in Two and Three Letters, in two publications, i58o , between 
himself and Harvey. Reprinted in several editions of Spenser; in 
Grosart's Works of Harvey, vol. I (Huth Library, 1884) ; and, so far as 
concerns criticism, in Smith, G. Gregory. 
Stanyhurst, Richard. The First Four Books of Virgil's Aeneis. Leyden, 
i582. Reprinted by Arber, English Scholar's Library, i88o; extracts 
from Dedication and Preface in Smith, G. Gregory. 
Webbe, William. A Discourse of English Poetrie. Together with the 
Author's judgment, touching the reformation of our English Verse. 
1586. Reprinted in Haslewood and Smith, and by Arber, i87o ft. 
Whetstone, George. Promos and Cassandra. i578. Dedication in Smith. 
G. Gregory. 
Wilson, Thomas. The Art of Rhetoric. i55i or I553; i562. 

596 Bibliography to 

Gayley, C. M. and Scott, F. N. An Introduction to the Methods and 
Materials of Literary Criticism. Boston, xgo. 
Saintsbury, G. History of Criticism. Vol. II, bk IV, chap. v. Edinburgh 
and London, 
Schelling, F.E. Poetic and Verse Criticism of the reign of Elizabeth. Pub. 
Univ. of Pennsylvania, x89x. 
Spingarn, J.E. A History of Literary Criticism in the Renaissance Part 
IIi. New York and London, x899. 
Rhys, E. The Prelude to Poetry. The English Poets in the Defence and 
Praise of their own art. x894 (?). 
Wylie, L.J. Studies in the Evolution of English Criticism. Boston,x894. 
Britannia, sire Florentissimorum Regnorum Angliae, Scoriae, Hiberniae et 
Insularum adjacentium ex interna antiquitate Chorographica Descriptio, 
Authore Guilielmo Camdeno x 586. 
This work was published in English under the title: Britain, or a Choro- 
graphicall Description of the Most flourishing Kingdomes England, Scotland, 
& Ireland, & the Islands adjoyning, out of the depth of Antiquitie: Beau- 
tified with Mappes of The Severall Shires of England: Written first in Latine 
by William Camden, Clarenceux K. of A. Translated newly into English by 
Philemon Holland Doctor in Physick. x 6 x o. Another edition was published 
in 637. Britannia was translated also by Edward Gibson (x77) and R. 
Gough (x 789). 
Remains concerning Britain. x6o4. Rptd. by John Russell Smith, x87o. 
Rerurn Anglicarum et Hibernicarum Annales, regnante Elizibetha. The 
first part of this work, as far as x588, was published in x65, and was 
translated into English from the French by Abraham Darcie under the 
title: Annales, The True and Royall History of the famous Empresse 
Elizabeth, Queene of England France & Ireland &c. True Faith's de- 
fendresse of Divine renoune & happy Memory 6 5. The second par 
was published in x67 and translated by Thomas Browne of Christ- 
church: Tomus Alter et Idem. x69. A translation of the whole work 
was made by B. Norton, Gent. in x639, and several times reprinted. 
[Glover, Robert (x544-88). A great herald, whose labours were of immense 
assistance to his successors, and who is worthy of remembrance by the 
side of Camden. See especially Thomas Miller's Catalogue of Honor, or 
Treasury of True Nobility, x6xo.] 
A uthorities 
t3olton, E. Hypercritica (6x8), and rptd. in J. E. Spingarn's Critical Essays 
of the Seventeenth Century (x9o8) contains comments upon Camden, 
Speed, Stow and the other writers of chronicles. The author notes the 
many "vast vulgar Tomes, procured for the most part by the husbandry 
of Pnnters, & not by appointment of the Prince or Authority of the 

598 Bibliography to 

The Union of the two noble and illustrate famelies of Lancastre & Yorke 
beeyng long in continual discension for the croune of this noble realme, 
with all the acres done in bothe of the tymes of the Princes, both of the 
one linage and of the other, beginnyng at the tyme of king Henry the 
fowerth, the first aucthor of this derision, and so successively proceadyng 
to the reigne of the high and prudent prince king Henry the eight, the 
undubitate flower and very heire of both the sayd linages. 
Tanner, in his Bibliotheca Britannica, says that the first edition of Hall's 
Chronicle was printed by Berthelet in  542. If this be so, no perfect copy of 
the edition has survived. Some fragments, in copies belonging to the Univer- 
sity of Cambridge and to the Grenville Collection in the British Museum, 
are imagined to be of this first edition. 
The first known edition is that of 548, printed by Grafton from the 
author's notes. The text may be accepted as authentic. "For as much as 
a dead man is the author thereof," says Grafton, "I thought it my duty to 
suffer his work to be his own, & have altered nothing therein." Another 
edition was printed in  55o, and, in 8o9, the book was edited neither exactly 
nor completely by Sir Hen Ellis. 
Ames, J. Typographical Antiquities. 785. Ed. Dibdin, T.F. iSio-i 9. 
Tanner, T. Bibliotheca Britannica.  748. 
Ward, A.W. Introduction to Henry VI. University Press Shakespeare. 
New York, i9o 7. 
The First Part of the Life & raigne of King Henrie the IIII. Extending 
to the end of the first yeare of his raigne. Written by J.H. i599 . 
The Lives of the III Normans, Kings of England: 
William the first. 
William the second. 
Henrie the first. 
Written by J.H. 16i 3 . 
The Life & Raigne of King Edward the Sixt. Written by Sir John Hay- 
ward, Knight, Doctor of Law. i63o. A second edition of this work 
(z636) includes "the begining of the Raigne of Queene Elizabeth." 
Annals of the First Four Years of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth by Sir John 
Hayward, Knt. D. C.L. Edited from a MS. in the Harleian Collection 
by John Bruce, Esq., F. S.A. Camden Society. i84o. This contains 
unpublished matter together with a brief biography of Sir J. Hayward. 
The firste volume of the Chronicles of England, Scotlande, & Irelande, 
Conteyning, the description & Chronicles of England from the first 
inhabiting unto the Conquest. The description & Chronicles of Scot- 
land, from the first originall of the Scottes nation, till the yeare of our 
Lorde i57t. The description & Chronicles of Irelande, likewise from 
the firste originall of that nation untill the yeare i547. Faithfully 
gathered & set forth by Raphaell Holinshed. At London. Imprinted 
for John Harrison. I578. 

600 Bibliography to 

De Antiquitate Ecclesiae et Privilegiis Ecclesiae Cantuariensis cum Archi- 
episcopis ejusdem 7 o. Printed by John Day. x573. 
Flores Historiarum per Matthaeum Westmonasteriensem collecti, praecipu 
de rebus Britannicis ab exordio mundi usque A.D. x3o7. x567--7o. 
He also published the works of Asser, Gildas, Thomas Walsingham and 
others, and, by establishing a Society of Antiquaries, did much to advance 
the study of history. 
.-1 uthority 
Strype, John. The Life & Acts of Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canter- 
bury. TXI- 
The expedicion into Scotlde of the most woorthely fortunate prince Edward 
Duke of Soomerset. 549- 
The Historie of Cambria. 584. 
The British Histories of Ponticus Virunnius &c. 1585. 
The Historie of Wyates rebellion. 554- 
This history, generally attributed to Sir Thomas More, was printed in 
Grafton's continuation of Hardyng (1543) and in Hall's Chronicle (1548), 
It was first published ungarbled and with Sir T. More's works in Rastell's 
edition of x557. 
De Republica Anglorum: the maner of Governement or policie of the Realme 
of England. First printed, 1583. Ed. Alston, L. and 3Iaitland, F. W. 
Cambridge, 1906. 
A uthority 
Strype, John. The Life of the learned Sir Thomas Smith. x698. 
Jon SEE 
The Historie of Great Britaine under the Conquests of the Romans, Saxons, 
Danes & Normans. Their Originals, Maners, Habits, Warres, Coines, 
& Scales: With the Successions, Lives, Acts, & Issues of the English 
Monarchs from Julius Caesar, unto the Raigne of King James, of famous 
Memorie. i6xx. Third edition, x63. 
Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain. 
A Summarie of Englysh Chronicles. x56I. 
The Chronicles of England from Brute unto this present Yeare of Christ, 
collected by John Stowe, Citizen of London. x58o. 

Chapter XVI 6ox 

The Annales of England faithfully collected out of the most authenticall 
Authors, Records, & other Monuments of Antiquitie from the first 
inhabitation untill x 59-. x 592. 
The Annales or a Generall Chronicle of England first by maister John Stow, 
and after him continued 8: augmented with matters forreyne & 
domestique, auncient & moderne unto the end of this present yeare 
x 614 by Edward Howes, gentleman, x 615- 
A Survey of London, conteyning the Originall Antiquity, Increase, Moderne 
Estate & description of that City, written in the year 1598 by John Stow. 
This work was corrected and enlarged by John Strype and brought" down 
to the present time by careful Hands," under the title: A Survey of the 
Cities of London & Westminster, x72o and x754-5, and has lately been 
edited by Kingsford, C. L., x9o8. 
A uthorities 
Aubrey's Brief Lives. Ed. Clark, A. 898. 
Clode's Histories of the Merchant Tailor's Company. 875, x888. 
Fuller, T. Worthies. 662. 
Gairdner, J. Three Fifteenth Century Chronicles, with historical memoranda 
by John Stow, etc. Camden Society. 
Strype, J. Survey. x754-5. 
[Among worthy county chroniclers may be mentioned Erdeswicke, 
Sampson (d. x6o3), historian of Staffordshire, whose Survey was edited 
by Harwood, T., in x82o; Burton, William (x575-:645), elder brother of 
the author of the Anatomy of Melancholy and author of a Description of 
Leicestershire; Charles Wriothesley (x 5o8 ?-62) who continued the chronicle 
of Richard Arnold which was referred to in Vol. II. The Camden Society's 
publications contain sundry chronicles worthy of note, e.g. the Chronicle of 
Calais, in the reigns of Henry VII and VIII to the year 54o, ed. Nichols, 
J. G., :846; A London Chronicle during the same reigns, ed. flopper, C., 
x859; and Polydore Vergil's English History from an early translation, 
ed. Ellis, H., 846, 844. Polydore Vergil was a friend of Latimer, Linacre, 
More, etc.; his history was first printed at Basel in 534 under the title: 
Polydori Vergilii Urbinatis Anglicae Historiae Libri xxvI. See Morley's 
English Writers, vol. vII.] 




Ashton, J. Romances of Chivalry. 1887. 
Bahlsen, L. Spanische Quellen der englischen Litteratur besonders Englands 
zu Shakespeares Zeit. Zeitschr. f. vergl. Litteraturgeschichte, n. F. vI, 
Bullen, A.H. Poems, chiefly lyrical, from the Romances and Prose Tracts 
of the Elizabethan Age. x89o. 
Chandler, F.W. Romances of Roguery. (Pt. I, Picaresque novelin Spain.) 
x899. (Bibliography.) 
-- The Literature of Roguery. 2 vols. x9o7. (Excellent bibliography.) 
Courthope, W.J. A History of English Poetry. Vol. II. I897. 

6o2 Bibliography to 

Cross, W.L. Development of the English Novel. x9o5. (Bibliography.) 
Dunlop, J.C. History of Fiction. .o vols. Rev. by Wilson, H. i9o6. 
Fitzmaurice-Kelly, J. On Mendoza and Lazarillo de Tormes in Mod. Lang. 
Rev., Jan. i9o 9. 
Greg, W.W. Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama. (Ch. n, vii.) 9o6. 
Hannay, D. The Later Renaissance. Edinburgh and London, i898. 
Hume, M. A.S. Spain, its Greatness and Decay. Cambridge, I898. 
 Spanish Influence in English Literature. 9o5. 
Jusserand, J.J. The English Novel in the time of Shakespeare. Tr. Lee, E. 
89o ft. [Bibliography and illustrations. See esp. the chapters entitled 
Before and After Shakespeare, and that on Tudor Times.] 
 A Literary History of the English People. (Bk v, chap. v.) t9o6. 
Koeppel, E. Studien zur Geschichte der italienischen Novelle in der 
englischen Litt. des xv Jahrh. Quellen und Forschungen, Lxx. 
Strassburg, 892. 
Lee, S. Great Englishmen of the 6th cent. i9o4. [For Sidney, etc.] 
Morley, H. English Writers. Vol. x. i893. 
Murray, J.A. The Influence of Italian on Eng. Literature during the xvth 
and xvHth Cent. Le Bas Prize. Cambridge, 886. 
Raleigh, W. The English Novel. i9o4. 
Rennert, II. A. Spanish Pastoral Romance. Baltimore, 892. 
Schofield, W.H. English Literature from the Conquest to Chaucer. [For 
bibliography of early tales, etc., pp. 479 ft. See also volumes I and n of 
the present work.] 
Scott, M.A. Translations from the Italian. Publ. of Mod. Lang. Assoc. of 
America. 896. 

Stoddard, F. H. 
Tuckerman, B. 
Underhill, J. G. 
Warren, F. M. 
Lazarillo de Tormes. 

The Evolution of the English Novel. x9oo. 
History of English Prose Fiction. 882. 
Spanish Literature in the England of the Tudors. 899. 
History of the Novel previous to the  7th Cent. New York, 

Cornhill Mag. vol. XXXl, pp. 670 ft. 


Halliwell, T.W. The Pleasant History of John Winchcomb [or] Jack 
of Newbury. 859. 
Lange, A.F. The Gentle Craft. Registered x597. (Ed. Introd. and Notes.) 
Palaestra, xvm. Berlin, x9o3 . 
Sievers, R. Thomas Deloney, eine Studie fiber Balladen-litteratur der 
Shakspere-Zeit nebst Neudruck von Deloney's Roman Jack of 
Newbury. Palaestra, xxxvL Berlin, i9o4. 
Thomas, W.J. Thomas of Reading, (Early Eng. Prose Romances, vol. I, 
pp. 7-I78.) x858. 
[For his ballads and broadsides, see Vol. IV of the present work.] 


Adams, jr., J. Q. The Thracian Wonder in Greene's Menaphon. 
Phil. iii, Jan. i9o6. 
Adlard, J.E. Defence of Conny Catching. 859. 
Arber, E. Menaphon. Eng. Scholax's Libr. 88o. 
Bernhardi, W. Robert Greene's Leben und Schriften. Leipzig, 874. 


Chapter XVI 603 

Brereton, J. le G. Relation of the Thracian Wonder to Greene's Menaphon. 
Mod. Lang. Rev. ix, i. 
Brydges, Sir Egerton. Groatsworth of Wit. i889. 
 Archaica. Greene's Philomela. 1815- 
Bullen, A. H., in D. of N.B. [Contains useful bibliography ] 
Delius, N. Pandosto and Winter's Tale. Jahrb. xv, i88o, and Mod. Lang. 
Notes, xxL No. 7, Baltimore. 
Dyce, A. Dramatic Works and an account of Rob. Greene. i86i. 
Grosart, A. B. Life and Works of Greene. 15 vols. Huth Library. 
HaIIiweII, J.O. The Notable Discovery of Coosnage. 18S9. 
Hart, H.C. Notes on Greene's Prose Works. Notes and Queries, ioth Set.) 
vol. iv. 
Herford, C. H. Few suggestions on Greene's Romances and Shakespere. 
NewShak. Soc., Set. , Part IL p. i8i. i888. 
Ingleby, C. M. Groatsworth of Wit. See Shak. Allusion-books, Part I, 
New Shak. Soc., i874. 
Jusserand, J.J. Hist. Litt. du Peuple Anglais. Vol. H, p. 46o. Paris, i9o4. 
[For French versions of Pandosto, etc.] 
Saintsbury, G. Elizabethan and Jacobean Pamphlets. Groatsworth of 
Wit. i9o2. 
Simpson, R. Account of Robert Greene, his Prose Works and his quarrel 
with Shakespeare. School of Shak., vol. xx. i878. 
Vetter. Robert Greene und seine Prosa. Verhandlungen der 44 Versamm- 
lung dtschr Philologen und Schulmtinner. 
Wolff, S.L. Robert Greene and the Italian Renaissance. E. Stud. xxxvH. 
Carl, R. Jber Thomas Lodge's Leben und Werke. Anglia, x, pp. 235-289. 
Delius, N. Lodge's Rosalynde und As You Like It. Jahrb. vI, i87i. 
Gosse, E. The Works of Lodge. Hunterian Club. i878-82. 
-- Memoir of Thos. Lodge. Glasgow, i882. 
-- Seventeenth Century Studies (Lodge). i883. 
Greg, W.W. Lodge's Rosalynde. I9o8. 
Halliwell, T.W. Margarite of America. I859. 
Hazlitt, W.C. Rosalynde. I875. 
Lee, S., in D. of N.B. [For good bibliography.] 
Morley, H. Rosalynde. I887. 
Stone, W.G. Rosalynde and As You Like It. New Shak. Soc. Pub. i884. 
Zupitza, J. Rosalynde and As You Like It. Jahrb. xxL i886. 
Lodge's Forbonius and Prisceria. Rptd., Shak. Soc. i853 


Ainger, A. Lectures and Essays. i9o 5. (Euphuism past and present.) 
Arber, E. Euphues. i868. 
Bodenstedt, F. M. yon. ShakeSpeare's Zeitgenossen. (Lyly, vol. III.) 
Berlin, i86o. 
Bond, R.W. Complete Works. 3 vols. I9o2. 
-- Lyly, Novelist and Dramatist. Quart. Rev., Jan. i896. 
Child, C. G. John Lyly and Euphuism. Mflnchner Beit. Erlangen and 
Leipzig, 1894. 

606 Bibliography to 

Rich, Barnabe. The Straunge and wonderfull adventures of Don Simon- 
ides. x58x. Vol. xx. x584. 
 The Adventures of Brusanus. x 592. 
Rowland, David (ft. x 569-86). The Pleasant History of Lazarillo de Tormes. 
(Trans.) x576 ft. 
Southey, R. Palmerin of England. 8o 7. 
Tilney, E. (d. x6xo). A Briefe and Pleasant Discourse of Duties in Mariage. 
Warner, W. Pan his Syrinx. x585 . 
Whetstone, G. An Heptameron of Civill Discourses. x582. 



i. Bibliographies 

There is no complete bibliography bearing directly upon the Marprelate 
controversy. Considerable information of a bibliographical nature may, 
however, be gleaned from Collections towards a Bibliography of Congre- 
gationalism in Dexter's Congregationalism as seen in its Literature (see 
below) and from Early Nonconformist Bibliography, published by Grippen, 
T. G., in vol. I of the Transactions of the Congregational Historical Society. 
In addition to these, Edward Arber's invaluable Introductory Sketch to the 
3Iartin 3Iarprelate Controversy contains a list of the most important tracts 
connected with the subject. 

ii. Manuscrit, ls 

Most of the original documents connected with the ,[arprelate press and 
printers are among the Harleian 3[SS. at the British Museum, and have 
been reprinted in Arber's Introductory Sketch (see below). 
The Scotch State Papers at the Record Office contain information about 
Penry and Waldegrave after their flight from England. 
3[any interesting papers concerning the Martinist group are collected under 
the title: A Second Part of a Register, in the library of Dr. Williams, 
Gordon Square, London. 
The Manchester Papers at the Record Office contain the examination of 
Symmes and Tomlyn after their capture in August, which gives infor- 
mation, not found in Arber, as to the movements of the 3farprelate 
press in the summer of  589 . 
The Yelverton hISS. (vol. 70) in the possession of lord Calthorpe contain 
some unpublished letters of John Penry and other documents of interest. 

iii. Tracts a other contenporary material 

Admonition to the people of England, An. By T[homas] C[ooper, bp of 
Winchester]. An Admonition to the people of England: Wherein 
are answered, not onely the slaunderous untruethes, reprochfully uttered 
by 3[artin the Libeller, but also many other Crimes by some of his 
broode, objected generally against all Bishops, and the chiefe of the 
Cleargie, purposely to deface and discredite the present state of the 
Church. Seene and allowed by authoritie. Imprinted at London by 
the Deputies of Christopher Barker. x589. [Entered at Sta- 

Chapter XVII 


Diotrephes. [By John Udall.] The state of the Church of Englande, laide 
open in a conference betweene Diotrephes a Bishop, Tertullus a Papist, 
Demetrius an usurer, Pandocheus an In-keeper, and Paule a Preacher 
of the word of God .... [No author's name or imprint. Printed 
without authority by Waldegrave at London (?), April x588. Another 
impression with different title-page arrangement is extant.] Rptd. 
in A parte of a register, i593 (?); Arber, E., op. tit., i879. 
Friendly Admonition, A. By Leonard Wright. A Friendly Admonition 
to lartine larprelate, and his Mates. By Leonard Wright. London 
printed by John Wolfe xSOO. [Entered at Stationers' Hall, I9 Jan.] 
Harborowe, An. [By John Aylmer.] An harborowe for faithfull and trewe 
subjectes, agaynst the late blowne Blaste, concerninge the Govern- 
ment of Wemen, wherin be confuted all such reasons as a straunger 
of late made in that behalfe, with a breife exhortation to obedience. 
Anno. M.D. lix . At Strasborowe the 26. of Aprill. 
Lamb of God, The. [By Richard Harvey.] A Theologicall discourse of 
the Lamb of God and his enemies: Contayning a briefe Commentarie 
of Christian faith and felicitie together with a detection of old and 
new Barbarisme. now commonly called Martinisme .... London 
Imprinted by John Windet for W.P. Anno. i59o. 
lIar-Martine. [Author unknown.] 
I know not why a trueth in rime set out 
Male not as well mar Martine and his mates, 
As shamelesse lies in prose-books cast about 
1Iarpriests, & prelates, and subvert whole states. 
For where truth builds & lying overthroes, 
One truth in rime, is worth ten lies in prose. 
[No date, author's name or printer. Privately printed, ]Iay-June x589. 
London. Rptd. (partially), Bond, R. W., Works of John Lyly, vol. III, 
among "Doubtful Works," x9o2. 
l[arre [ar-.X[artin. [Author unknown.] Matte [ar-[artin: or Marre- 
1lartins medling, in a manner misliked. 
Martins vaine prose, Marre-Martin doth mislike, 
Reason (forsooth) for Martin seekes debate: 
Marre-Martin will not so; yet doth his patience strike: 
Last verse, first prose, conclude in one selfe hate: 
Both maintaine strife, unfitting Englands state. 
1Iartin, Marre-Martin, Barrow joyned with Browne 
Shew zeale: yet strive to pull Religion downe. 
Printed with Authoritie (N. B. "with Authoritie" is cut out in the 
Lambeth copy). [No date or imprint. Privately printed in London, 
]Iay-June 589 .] Rptd., Brydges, Sir S. E., Censura Literaria, vol II, 
Art. lxxii, xo vols, x8o5- 9. 
lIartin 5Iarprelate Tracts (in chronological order). 
(i) The Epistle 
Oh read over D. John Bridges, for it is a worthy worke: Or an 
epitome of the fyrste Booke, of that right worshipfull volume, written 
against the Puritanes, in the defence of the noble cleargie, by as wor- 
VOL. III--39 

6io Bibliography to 

shipfull a prieste, John Bridges, Presbyter, Priest or elder, doctor of 
DiviIlitie, and Deane of Sarum. Wherein the arguments of the puritans 
are wisely prevented, that when they come to answere M. Doctor, 
they must needes say something that hath bene spoken. Compiled for 
the behoofe and overthrow of the Parsons. Fyckers, and Currats, that 
have lernt their Catechisrnes, and are past grace: By the reverend and 
worthie Martin ]Iarprelate gentleman, and dedicated to the Confoca- 
tionhouse. The Epitome is not yet published, but it shall be when the 
Bishops are at convenient leysure to view the same. In the rneane time, 
let them be content with this learned Epistle. Printed oversea, in 
Europe, within two furlongs of a Bounsing Priest, at the cost and 
charges of ,X[ Marprelate, gentleman. [Secretly printed at East [ole- 
sey, by Waldegrave, and issued in Oct. or early in Nov. t588.] Rptd., 
John Petheram, op. cit., t84; Arber, E., op. cit., 88o. 
(ii) The Epitome 
Oh read over (as in The Epistle) bene spoken. Com- 
piled for the behoofe and overthrow of the unpreaching Parsons, Fyckers, 
and Currats, that have lernt their Catechisms, and are past grace: Bv 
the reverend and worthie Mar*in Marprelat gentleman, and dedicated by 
a second Epistle to the Terrible Priests. In this Epitome, the foresaide 
Fickers, &c. are very insufficiently furnished, with notable inabilitie of 
most vincible reasons, to answere the cavill of the puritanes. And lest 
M. Doctor should thinke that no man can write without sence but his 
selve, the senceles titles of the several pages, and the handling of the 
matter throughout the Epitome, shewe plaincly, that beetleheaded 
ignoraunce must not live and die with him alone. Printed on the other 
hand of some of the Priests. [Secretly printed at Fawsley, by Walde- 
grave, in Nov., t 588, and issued before 6 Dec.] Rptd., John Petheram, 
op. tit., 843. 
(iii) The Iinerall Conclusions (a broadside) 
Certaine Minerall, and Metaphisicall Schoolpoints, to be defended by 
the reverende Bishops, and the rest of my cleargie masters of the 
Convocation house, against both the universities, and al the reformed 
Churches in Cbristendome. Wherin is layd open, the very Quintes- 
sence of al Catercorner divinities. And with all, to the preventing of 
the Cavels of these wrangling Puritans, the persons by whom, and 
the places where these misteries are so worthely maintayned, are for the 
most part, plainly set downe to the view of all men, and that to the 
ternall prayse of the most reverend Fathers. [Secretly printed by 
Waldegrave at Coventry, and issued about so Feb., t589 . Copy at 
(iv) Hay any worke for Cooper 
Hay any worke for Cooper: Or a briefe Pistle directed by waye of 
an hublication to the reverende Byshopps, counselling them, if they 
will needs be barrelled up, for leave of smelling in the nostrels of her 
Majestic & the State, that they would use the advise of reverend 
Martin, for the providing of their Cooper. Because the reverend T. C. 
(by which rnisticall letters, is understood, eyther the bounsing Parson 

Chapter XVII 

of Eastmeane, or Tom Coakes his Chaplaine) hath shewed himself in 
his late Admonition to the people of England to bee an unskilfull 
and beceytfull tubtrimmer. Wherein worthy Martin quits himselfe 
like a man I warrant you, in the modest defence of his selfe and his 
learned Pistles, and makes the Coopers hoopes to flye off, and the 
Bishops Tubs to leake out of all crye. Penned and compiled by Martin 
the Metropolitane. Printed in Europe, not farre from some of the 
Bouncing Priestes. [Secretly printed by Waldegrave at Coventry, and 
issued about 2o March, x589. ] Rptd. under the title: Reformation no 
chemic. Or a true Discourse, betweene the Bishops and the Desirers 
of Reformation: Wherein Is plainely laid open the present corrupt 
government of our Church, and the desired forme of Government 
plainely proved by the word of God. Printed in the yeare, x64; John 
Petheram, op. cir., x845. 
(v) Theses Martinianae, or Martin Junior 
Theses hlartinianae: That is, Certaine Demonstrative Conclusions, 
sette downe and collected (as it should seeme) by that famous and 
renowmed Clarke, the reverend Martin Marprelate the great: serving 
as a manifest and sufficient confutation of al that ever the Colledge of 
Catercaps with their whole band of Clergie-priests, have, or can bring 
for the defence of their ambitious and Antichristian Prelacie. Pub- 
lished and set foorth as an after-birth of the noble Gentleman himselfe, 
by a prety stripling of his, hlartin Junior, and dedicated by him to his 
good neame and nuncka, Maister John Kankerbury: How the young- 
man came by them, the Reader shall understande sufficiently in the 
Epilogue. In the meane time, whosoever can bring mee acquainted 
with my father, Ile bee bounde bee shall not loose his labour. Printed 
by the assignes of Martin Junior, without any priviledge of the Catercaps. 
[Secretly printed by Hodgkins in Mistress Wigston's house at Wolston, 
and issued about 22 July, x589. ] 
(vi) The just censure and reproofe or iIartin Senior 
The just censure and reproofe of llartin Junior. Wherein the rash 
and undiscreete headlines of the foolish youth, is sharply metre with, 
and the boy hath his lesson taught him, I warrant you, by his reverend 
and elder brother Martin Senior, sonne and heir unto the renowmed 
llartin Iar-prelate the Great. Where also, least the springall shold 
be utterly discouraged in his good meaning, you shall finde, that hee is 
not bereaved of his due commendations. [Secretly printed by Hodgkins 
in iIistress Wigston's house at Wolston, and issued about 29 July, x 589 .] 
(vii) The Protestation 
The Protestatyon of ifartin .farprelat Wherin not with standing the 
surprizing of the printer, he maketh it known unto the world that he 
feareth, neither proud priest, Antichristian pope, tiranous prellate, nor 
godlesse eatercap: but defiethe all the race of them by these presents 
and offereth conditionally, as is farthere expressed hearin by open dis- 
putation to apear in the defence of his eaus aginst them and theirs. 
Which chaleng if they dare not maintaine aginst him: then doth he 
alsoe publishe that he never meaneth by the assitaunee of god to leave 

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translated out of French into English by H. Lyre. G. Dewes, 1578; 
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Chapter XX 5 

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Chapter XX 62 7 

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p. 63. The date of Robynson's translation of More's ltoa x 2-_" 1.551 not 156 I.